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Shame and Guilt Societies [Paperback]

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Item description for Shame and Guilt Societies by Eleanor Morris Wu...

Shame and Guilt Societies by Eleanor Morris Wu

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Item Specifications...

Pages   276
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.4" Width: 5.3" Height: 0.8"
Weight:   0.75 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   May 30, 2005
Publisher   Washington House
ISBN  1932581782  
ISBN13  9781932581782  

Availability  0 units.

More About Eleanor Morris Wu

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Eleanor Morris Wu started writing fiction at the age of six. Born in Lancaster, PA, in 1941 she was blessed with a highly literate mother who was born and educated in Ireland and greatly encouraged her in all her literary and academic interests. Graduating first in her class in McCaskey Public High School in Lancaster she won a scholarship to Harvard where she enjoyed a broad education in science, math, social science and literary studies, and graduated in English CUM LAUDE in 1963. After graduation, she traveled and worked in Europe, Canada, Australia and most of Asia.In Canada she worked in broadcasting and book publishing and in 1966 she entered the University of Toronto graduate school in the department of Social Anthropology from which she would receive an MA in 1992. In 1969 she married artist, diplomat and writer from Hong Kong, Jyan Sheng (Steven) Wu. They had one son, Jonathan, who graduated from Harvard in 1995 and who now works in the corporate sector in Washington, DC in the US. After Jyan Sheng died in Canada in 1989, she moved to Taiwan where she was a Professor of English and a High School AP teacher in the Dominican International School and where she wrote more than 12 books, fiction and non fiction, all now available on She is the author of fiction books LOSING PLUM BLOSSOM to which THE BLACK KING/THE REVELLERS and A CONSPIRACY OF NATIONS, FROM EAST TO NORTHEAST are sequels. Her many non fiction books include BEYOND THE OEDIPUS COMPLEX: SUPER SYMMETRIES OF THE PSYCHE, HUMAN EFFLORESCENCE: A STUDY IN THE EVOLUTIONARY AND HISTORICAL DEVELOPMENT OF MAN, FROM CHINA TO TAIWAN: THE MAKING OF AN ASIAN TIGER, SHAME AND GUILT: ORIGINS OF WORLD CULTURES, and poetry book ORIENTAL KALEIDOSCOPE. Recently she completed a systematic decoding and analysis of the ancient Chinese holy book, The I Ching: THE GEOPOLITICAL ALGEBRA OF THE CHINESE I CHING. She continues to reside in Taiwan where there are several more books on the slate on the I Ching as well as possibly more fiction.The email address of Eleanor B. Morris Wu (also Eleanor Morris Wu) is She welcomes all feedback and comments.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Social Sciences > Anthropology > Cultural
2Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Social Sciences > Sociology > General

Reviews - What do customers think about Shame and Guilt Societies?

A keeper  Jun 2, 2006
This book is a keeper on my bookshelf for several reasons, including its valuable discussions of temples in the Taipei area, where I live, and its explanations of Taiwan religion, history and culture. There are tips for further reading, too. I appreciate the research after years of watching local gods on stilts in noisy religious processions, wagging joss sticks at the three weird statues on my father in law’s family altar, and idly wondering what was going on.

I didn’t buy the book for its comments on other religions and Western literature but they are sometimes interesting, too. I wasn't aware of Christianity's ancient ties to Siberian shamans, for example. Islam is not discussed.

For me the book’s biggest surprise was its central line of argument related to the theories of Freud. I have never been interested in Freud, finding him a fetch at best, but the book helped reconcile me to his theories somewhat by showing how the Freudian formula gets altered in different cultures where Oedipal complexes and fears of castration may be rare. If Freud was ethnocentric (tending to view the world with cultural bias), then his theories weren’t as universal as he thought. Paradoxically, with the universalism gone, his ideas become more believeable in the right contexts, as well as provocative yardsticks for measuring and understanding other cultures and patterns of thought.

The “shame” and “guilt” mentioned in the title refer to opposite social constructs. “Guilt” is the classic Western pattern. “Shame” is typical of Eastern culture, but as the author shows, in reality there are variations everywhere
"Shame and Guilt Societies" Is Stellar Take on Psychoanalysis  Dec 11, 2005
Eleanor Morris Wu's "Shame and Guilt Societies"
is an insightful 242-page book that convincingly synthesizes the psychoanalytical theories of Sigmund
Freud, Carl Jung and Heinz Kohut in a wide-ranging discussion of major
religions and several important writers of American literature. In
addition, Wu expands her views into a sociological
dimension, combining her ideas about psychoanalysis with the
sociological theories of Max Weber.

The book is a tour de force of academic insight, and the final result
is a revolutionary new theory of anthropology which casts new light on
many old conundrums.

"Shame and Guilt Societies" is divided into ten chapters, discusing
everything from the Oedipus complex and its psychological determints
to the poetry of T.S. Eliot and Ezra Pound. Professor Wu offers her
views on ancient religions as well, including discussions about
shamanism, Shinto, Buddhism, Christianity and Judaism and shows how
they are related to various perspectives of psychoanalytic theory.
It's a brilliant work of academic insight, well-written and peppered
with black-and-white photos of religious shrines and churches the
author took in over 20 countries around the world, from the Cali
Temple in Calcutta to the Notre Dame Church in Paris.

Wu, an American national her got her surname from her marriage to the late Steven
Wu, quotes from the works of Theodore Dreiser, Nathaniel Hawtorne and
Herman Melville in discussing her view of psychoanalytic theories, and
also shines her spotlight on literary works by F. Scott Fitzgerland
and Henry James. One chapter also discusses "The Tale of the Genji" by
the Japanese female writer Lady Murasaki Shikibu.

What makes the book accessible for me are long quotes from
such books as "Sister Carrie" by Dreiser, "The Scarlet Letter" by
Hawthorne and "Moby Dick" by Melville. In addition, the later chapters
delve deeply into the world-renowned poetry of Eliot and Pound, which
demonstrate the narcissistic quality of American civilization,
according to Wu.

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