Humiliation, Resistance and State Violence: Using the Sociology of Emotions to Understand Institutional Violence Against Women and Girls and Their Acts of Resistance
This article examines the relationship between state violence in the form of practices aimed to humiliate and acts of resistance to these practices. Focusing on the experiences of women and girls in the Parramatta Female Factory (1804–1848), Parramatta Girls’ Training School and Hay Institution for Girls (1950–1974), we suggest that the practices used to govern women and girls can be read as attempts at humiliation—to degrade and denounce an individual’s entire subjectivity as being unworthy. We argue that while shame can be the basis for reintegration, humiliation leads to other responses, including at an individual level, reclaiming one’s status as being of worth, and at the level of social action through movements that reclaim group status and invert the direction of who has morally transgressed.
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