September, 2015

Humiliation – an extreme emotion leading to extreme behavior? : A talk by Dr. Yashpal Jogdand

When: September 10th 2015; 4-5PM

Where: Ashoka Campus in room LR 206

Understanding the underlying processes and responses

Social psychological research conceptualizes humiliation as an extreme and intense emotion which instigates extreme and irrational behaviors. Victims of humiliation are portrayed as lacking rational control and prone to violent, vengeful actions. I contest this view of humiliation and its victims. I argue that these intense/extreme accounts present a narrow view of humiliation and ignore its inherently relational or dynamic nature. Importantly, these accounts pathologise victims and undermine their efforts to manage/challenge humiliation in everyday life. I present data from several studies employing different methods (thematic analysis, experiments, and discourse analysis). These studies examined the experience and response to humiliation among Dalits (ex-Untouchables) in India (and also among university students in UK for comparative purposes). I show that humiliation is, in fact, a social encounter within power relations. The nature of humiliation and how it is experienced depends upon the way in which identities are defined in a humiliating encounter. If identities are defined on a group level, people can feel humiliated simply by witnessing humiliation of another group member. Furthermore, the studies also revealed that victims do not remain passive during humiliating encounters but possess the choice and agency to affect the outcome of these encounters. Finally, the way in which humiliating encounters are resolved depend upon the mobilisation processes which can even change the nature of identities and, therefore, the nature of experience of the encounter.
About the speaker:

dispFac.phpDr. Yashpal Jogdand is assistant professor of Psychology in Christ University, India. He earned M.A. Psychology from Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University, Maharashtra and M.Phil from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. He completed his Ph.D. from University of St Andrews, Scotland under the supervision of Prof. Stephen Reicher. Before joining Christ, Yashpal worked as a research fellow on an ESRC (Economic and Social Research Council, UK) funded project headed by Stephen Reicher and Alex Haslam – Beyond the ‘banality of evil’: A new understanding of conformity and atrocity. His most recent publications are co-authored book chapters Identity, emotion and mobilisation (Routledge, in press) and Political participation is self-interest…But not in the way you might think (Policy Press/University of Chicago Press, 2015).

 

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