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Learn to identify—and combat—Systemic Shame, the feeling of self-hatred and disempowerment that comes from living in a society that blames individuals for systemic problems, with this invaluable resource from the social psychologist and author of Unmasking Autism.
“Stop doomscrolling and read this book. You’ll feel better, I promise.”—Celeste Headlee, journalist and bestselling author
Systemic Shame is the socially engineered self-loathing that says we are solely to blame for our circumstances. It tells us that poverty is remedied by hard-working people pulling themselves up by their bootstraps, that marginalized people are personally responsible for solving the problem of their own oppression, and that massive global crises like climate change can be solved with individual action. Feeling overwhelmed? That’s your problem, too. The more we try and ultimately fail to live up to impossible societal standards of moral goodness, the more shame we feel—and the more we retreat into isolation and despair.
Social psychologist Dr. Devon Price knows firsthand the destructive effects of Systemic Shame; he experienced shame and self-hatred as he grappled with his transgender identity, feeling as if his suffering was caused by his own actions rather than systems like cissexism. And it doesn’t just end with internal feelings of anguish. It causes us to judge other people the same way we fear being judged, which blocks us from seeking out the acceptance and support we need and discourages us from trying to improve our communities and our relationships.
In Unlearning Shame, Dr. Price explores how we can deal with those hard emotions more effectively, tackling the societal shame we’ve absorbed and directed at ourselves. He introduces the antidote to Systemic Shame: expansive recognition, an awareness of one’s position in the larger social world and the knowledge that our battles are only won when they are shared. He provides a suite of exercises and resources designed to combat Systemic Shame on a personal, interpersonal, and global level through rebuilding trust in yourself, in others, and in our shared future.
By offering a roadmap to healing and a toolkit of actionable items, Unlearning Shame helps us reject hopelessness and achieve sustainable change and personal growth.
About the Author
Devon Price, PhD, is a social psychologist, professor, author, and proud Autistic person. His research has appeared in journals such as the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, and the Journal of Positive Psychology. Devon’s writing has appeared in outlets such as the Financial Times, HuffPost, The Los Angeles Times, Slate, Jacobin, Business Insider, LitHub, and on PBS, NPR, MSNBC, and the BBC. He lives in Chicago, where he serves as an assistant professor at Loyola University Chicago’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies.
“With the authentic voice I’ve grown to expect from Devon, he raises an issue that could not be more timely. This book articulates a feeling that has lurked in the dark corners of so many minds and brings it into the light where it can be faced, embraced, and, ultimately, healed. Stop doomscrolling and read this book. You’ll feel better, I promise.”—Celeste Headlee, journalist and bestselling author