Saving Face: Shame and Bodily Abnormality

  • Author / Creator
    McMahen, Ben C
  • This thesis is concerned with understanding the shame that often accompanies acne and acne scarring, as an instance of shame that accompanies bodily abnormality or disability, with the aim of exploring strategies of resistance. (1) I explore the explanandum by appealing to the language used by those suffering with acne, and the arguments used in advertisements that sell acne treatments. (2) I consider whether the commercial success of acne treatment products can be explained primarily by the widespread desire to attain a physical ideal, or in the desire to appear “normal.” This involves an analysis of “the ideal” and “the normal” more generally. (3) Since normality is inherently related to identity, I claim that desire for normalcy can be partly explained as the desire for recognition. (4) My account of emotion and shame demonstrates the possibility, and difficulty, in transforming our emotions through changes in perception of value, and environment.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Arts
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
  • Department
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Janz, Heidi (John Dossetor Health Ethics Centre)
    • Morin, Marie-Eve (Philosophy)
    • Griener, Glenn (Philosophy, Institute for Public Economics)