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This text takes up the topic of victimization and blame as a pathology of our time and its consequences for personal responsibility. By probing the psychological dynamics of victims and perpetrators of rape, sexual abuse, and domestic violence, Sharon Lamb seeks to answer some crucial questions: How do victims become victims and sometimes perpetrators?; How can we break the psychological circle of perpetrators blaming others and victims blaming themselves?; How do victims and perpetrators view their actions and reactions?; And how does our social response to them facilitate patterns of excuse? With clarity and compassion, Lamb examines the theories, excuses and psychotherapies that strip both victims of their power and perpetrators of their agency - and thus deprive them of the means to human dignity, healing and reparation. She shows how the practice of painting victims as innocents may actually help perpetrators of abuse to shirk responsibility for their actions; they too can claim to be victims in their own right, passive and will-less in their wrongdoing. "The Trouble With Blame" clarifies the social cost of letting perpetrators off too easily, and points out the dangers of overemphasizing victimization, two problems which eclipse our need for accountability and recovery.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780674910119
ISBN-10: 0674910117
Format: Paperback
(202mm x 128mm x 13mm)
Pages: 256
Imprint: Harvard University Press
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Publish Date: 5-May-1999
Country of Publication: United States

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Author Biography - Sharon Lamb

Sharon Lamb is Professor of Psychology at St. Michael's College.

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