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Ricci, W.F. (1999). The Widening Scope of Shame: Melvin R. Lansky and Andrew P. Morrison. Hillsdale, NJ: The Analytic Press. 1997, vii + 437 pp., $55.00. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 47(3):952-953.

(1999). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 47(3):952-953

The Widening Scope of Shame: Melvin R. Lansky and Andrew P. Morrison. Hillsdale, NJ: The Analytic Press. 1997, vii + 437 pp., $55.00

Review by:
Walter F. Ricci

This volume is a collection of papers on shame, written by a multidisciplinary team. Thus, it includes contributions from philosophy, psychoanalysis, psychology, and family systems theory. The final section places shame in clinical, experiential, and religious contexts.

From the psychoanalytic perspective the volume delineates the evolution of Freud's thinking in relation to shame. It points up the different emphases on guilt and shame, allowing us to understand this shift as tied to the evolution in his thought from concepts of energy and drives to a more relational perspective, with an emphasis on affect.

Editors Lansky and Morrison offer an interesting reformulation of envy and the oedipus complex that widens the scope of interpretations of those concepts. Broucek's chapter brings a thoughtful analysis of the nature of shame in relation to intersubjectivity and the disruption of complementarity in the exchange between mother and child. Nathanson sketches the ideas of Sylvan Tomkins in a precise and comprehensive manner, presenting the language of emotions with a definition and clarity that at times borders on a mechanistic view of the mind.

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