Nakedness, Shame, and Embarrassment

A Long-Term Sociological Perspective

  • Barbara Górnicka

Part of the Figurationen. Schriften zur Zivilisations- und Prozesstheorie book series (FIG, volume 12)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages I-XI
  2. Barbara Górnicka
    Pages 13-27
  3. Barbara Górnicka
    Pages 29-43
  4. Barbara Górnicka
    Pages 45-84
  5. Barbara Górnicka
    Pages 85-110
  6. Barbara Górnicka
    Pages 111-141
  7. Barbara Górnicka
    Pages 143-164
  8. Barbara Górnicka
    Pages 165-178
  9. Barbara Górnicka
    Pages 179-185
  10. Back Matter
    Pages 187-207

About this book


Barbara Górnicka presents a sociological investigation – both historical and contemporary – into the problems surrounding naked bodies. She draws on her own participation in a nudist swimming club and goes on to study the often very complex and paradoxical emotions that have been associated with nakedness in the Western world for centuries. The book provides answers not only to why we find exposing our naked bodies shameful, but also why we find it sexual and erotic in the first place. It looks beneath taboos surrounding nakedness today and offers a theoretical explanation for their development over time. On the basis of her historical analysis, the author demonstrates that it was not until the late nineteenth or twentieth century that we began to see nudity as erotic.
  • Setting the Nude Scene
  • From Lewd to Nude: Becoming a Naturist
  • The Sociogenesis of Nudism
  • Natural Bodies? Nakedness, Eroticisation and Shame<
  • Nakedness as a Theoretical Problem
  • Nakedness and the Theory of Taboo
Target Groups
  • Researchers and students in the fields of sociology, anthropology, and cultural studies
The Author
Dr. Barbara Górnicka completed her doctoral degree in sociology at University College Dublin. She is the Managing Editor of Figurations, the newsletter of the Norbert Elias Foundation. Her research interests range from sociological theory to sociology of the body, emotions and sexuality. 


Nudity and Shame Emotions and civilizing process Embarrassment Body Nakedness in the Western World Taboos Surrounding Nakedness

Authors and affiliations

  • Barbara Górnicka
    • 1
  1. 1.School of SociologyUniversity College DublinDublinIreland

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden GmbH 2016
  • Publisher Name Springer VS, Wiesbaden
  • eBook Packages Social Sciences
  • Print ISBN 978-3-658-15983-2
  • Online ISBN 978-3-658-15984-9
  • Buy this book on publisher's site