Public Release: 

Weaponized shame

Meet the real culprit behind bullying, discrimination, and acts of mass violence in 'Beyond Bullying'

Oxford University Press USA

Shame. We've all experienced it--that burning, damning realization that our flaws, wounds, and secrets are on parade for the public. It is shame, as argued by Jonathan Fast, PhD, in the forthcoming BEYOND BULLYING: Breaking the Cycle of Shame, Bullying, and Violence (Oxford University Press; November 2015), that provides a window into disturbing, and at times frightening, aspects of human behavior.

Jonathan Fast is no stranger to the destructive ways human beings express pain.

In his previous book, Ceremonial Violence, Fast examined the psychology of teenagers that commit school shootings. In BEYOND BULLYING, Fast takes a hard look at the role shame plays in acts of mass violence and domestic terrorism, bullying, discrimination, and domestic violence.

BEYOND BULLYING integrates research from psychology, sociology, economics, and history to develop a comprehensive shame theory that helps to answer:

  • Why some kids are magnets for bullying.
  • Why LGBTQ teens commit suicide four times as frequently as "straight" teens.
  • Why the US has more men and women in prison than any other country in the world
  • Why school shootings and acts of domestic terrorism are one the rise in the US.

BEYOND BULLYING introduces "weaponized shame," intentional and targeted attacks on another person, and unpacks the effects of shame on both the victim and the bully. Beyond theory, Fast offers concrete suggestions for dealing with shame in healthy ways, including techniques for diffusing potentially harmful situations.

While BEYOND BULLYING is a valuable resource for teachers, administrators, and mental health professionals alike, it is also a must-read for parents of bullied children.

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