Moral Shame Talks

Radio ArtEZ podcast series

Moral Shame Talks is a podcast series of three episodes that explores the complexities of consumers’ moral shame in the context of the sustainability debate within the fashion industry. By tackling moral shame –a form of shame that consumers experience in their consumer behaviour while knowing they are not making sustainable choices – stories can be told about the complexity and systemics of the fashion industry and the sustainability debate in it. In the podcast series Lindy Boerman, finals student of the ArtEZ Master Fashion Strategy, collects different ideas, critical perspectives and personal thoughts. By including personal stories consumers have about moral shame and reflecting on this together with people from various professional background and with various perspectives she gives meaning to, and places moral shame in the contemporary context.

Episode 1: Disconnecting Clothes

In this episode, Chloe Chen, (BA psychology National Cheng Kung University Taiwan and first-year student ArtEZ MA Fashion Strategy) and Lindy explore the disconnection between the wearers of fashion and their physical clothes and try to find out where it comes from, as well as the disconnection we experience as consumers with the things that surround us.

Sources mentioned in the podcast by Chloe
Article on the brain’s reward system is triggered by novelty, please visit: Duhaime, A.C. (2017). Our Brains Love New Stuff, and It’s Killing the Planet. Harvard Business Review

Want to read some more on regeneration in the sustainability debate? Please see: Reed, B. (2007). Shifting from ‘sustainability’ to regeneration. Building Research & Information, 35(6), 674–680. https://doi.org/10.1080/09613210701475753

Want to read some more about what shame can evoke besides self-reflection and self-evaluation, please read: Tangney, J. P., Stuewig, J., & Mashek, D. J. (2007). Moral emotions and moral behavior. Annu. Rev. Psychol., 58, 345-372.

Want to read more on how shame makes sure we don’t want to break with norms formed by a community? Please read this article: https://qz.com/1420754/these-psychologists-studied-shame-around-the-world-and-now-think-its-an-essential-part-of-human-evolution/

Want to know more about the history between animals and human? Please see this source: Cerini, M. (2020). From Pharaohs to Beyoncé: Why do we still love leopard print? CNN

The quote of Bruno Latour can be found in: Latour, B. (2018). Down to Earth, Politics in the New Climatic Regime. Polity.

If you’re interested in this material, you can also read: Latour, B., & Porter, C. (2004). Politics of Nature: How to Bring the Sciences into Democracy. Harvard University Press.

More information about Clean Clothes Campaign: https://cleanclothes.org/

Sources mentioned in the podcast by Lindy

For sustainability definition of mud jeans see: https://mudjeans.nl/pages/over-ons-onze-missie

For more information on loose definitions of sustainability and greenwashing in the fashion industry, see: http://dailyorange.com/2020/03/fashion-companies-use-greenwashing-lie-consumers/

An article that dives into the relationship between humans and animals, please see this book: Fudge, E. (2002). Animal. Amsterdam: Adfo Books.

Image of the H&M shirt with a bear portrayed: www2.hm.com/nl_nl/productpage.0967482002.html


Episode 2: Belonging Groups

In this episode, Esra van Koolwijk, (MA student Sociology Radboud University)) and Lindy discuss moral shame from a sociological perspective. Therefore, this episode investigates moral shame of consumers in relation to their social environment and examines how and whether moral shame functions as a dividing line between different groups of people.

Sources Esra mentions

For more information about postmaterialism, please visit this link: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Jochen-Mayerl/publication/325750156_Two_Worlds_of_Environmentalism_Empirical_analyses_on_the_complex_relationship_between_Post-Materialism_National_Wealth_and_Environmental_Concern/links/5b4df87c45851507a7a7ae12/Two-Worlds-of-Environmentalism-Empirical-analyses-on-the-complex-relationship-between-Post-Materialism-National-Wealth-and-Environmental-Concern.pdf

Shame as a human emotion can be found in the book of Rutger Bregman named De meeste mensen deugenhttps://decorrespondent.nl/demeestemensendeugen

Bourdieu & his ideas of capital are discussed in this article: Bourdieu, P. (1986). The forms of capital. In: Richardson, J., Handbook of Theory and Research for the Sociology of Education. Westport, CT: Greenwood: 241–58.

For the work of Hans Eikelboom see this article: https://www.parool.nl/nieuws/ben-ik-een-product-van-mezelf-of-van-mijn-omgeving~ba10e469/

For more information on how lower educated people having less mental space: https://decorrespondent.nl/511/waarom-arme-mensen-domme-dingen-doen/19645395-f6c9a0bd

Sources Lindy mentions

The story of Dior after the second world-war called Red Petals can be read here: https://blog.e-byrne.com/2018/08/14/red-petals/

Book of Jennifer Jacquet where she mentions how the rich can buy their way out of environmental guilt: Jacquet, J. (2015) Is SHAME really necessary? New uses for an old tool. New York: Pantheon Books.

The work of the exactitudes Lindy discusses: exactitudes.com

The article that discusses with the title how the new elite distinguishes itself through yoga, podcasts and oat milk: www.nrc.nl/nieuws/2019/01/31/de-nieuwe-elite-onderscheidt-zich-met-yoga-podcasts-en-havermelk-a3652474

Episode 3: Clashing Behaviour

In this episode, Christine Cimpian, (MA Behavioural Science, RU) and Lindy discuss moral shame from a behavioural science point of view. They take a look at what is crucial to moral shame: a friction between the consumers’ sustainability aspirations and ambitions and their actual behaviour. Christine and Lindy investigate what plays an important role in the consumer behaviour that leads to moral shame.

Sources Christine mentions:

Interested in temporal discounting in relation to sustainability? Read (1) Green, L. & Myerson, J., 2004. A discounting framework for choice with delayed and probabilistic rewards. Psychological bulletin. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1382186/ and (2) Odum, A.L., 2011. Delay discounting: I’m a k, you’re a k. Journal of the experimental analysis of behavior. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3213005/

Want to read more about implementation intentions? See Gollwizter, P.M., 1999. Implementation intentions: Strong effects of simple plans. American Psychologist, 54(7), pp.493–503.

On consumers & agency: Hamilton, C., 2009. Consumerism, self-creation and prospects for a new ecological consciousness. Journal of Cleaner Production. Available at: www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0959652609003023?casa_token=5e42BtTFvmYAAAAA%3AFa6lh4OPpHDPvVrl7Xasl2ycHik2l9iihqjS9pNwnDMA64LaEOiJFfNLuEu2JfxnwmQd5qEfXBB [Accessed May 19, 2021].

Interested in some more sources?
McNeill, L. & Moore, R., 2015. Sustainable fashion consumption and the fast fashion conundrum: fashionable consumers and attitudes to sustainability in clothing choice. Wiley Online Library. Available at: onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/ijcs.12169 [Accessed May 21, 2021].

Want to read more on a sustainability on an individual level: Pappas, E.C., 2013. Individual sustainability: Preliminary research. IEEE Xplore. Available at: ieeexplore.ieee.org/abstract/document/6685115 [Accessed May 21, 2021].

Want to know more about cognitive dissonance? Please see: Thøgersen, J., 2003. A cognitive dissonance interpretation of consistencies and inconsistencies in environmentally responsible behavior. Journal of Environmental Psychology. Available at: www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0272494403000392 [Accessed May 21, 2021].

Sources Lindy mentions:

Read further about affective dissonance in: www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/1362704X.2019.1676506

Read more about the three degrees of influence, please read this article: decorrespondent.nl/11718/ja-het-is-allemaal-de-schuld-van-shell-klm-en-het-systeem-maar-zullen-we-het-nu-eens-overjouhebben/450498510-0abb8d69

For more information on sustainable sensoriality, please read this article: Living-With and Dying-With
Thoughts on the Affective Matter of Food and Fashion
in apria.artez.nl/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/APRIA-Issue-1-Print-Out-V12.pdf

Read more about the supermarket of identities in Dissolving the Ego of Fashion by Daniëlle Bruggeman. 

Want to read some more on the Affect theory?
www.newyorker.com/magazine/2019/03/25/affect-theory-and-the-new-age-of-anxiety


If you want to be part of the project, please visit this Instagram account: https://www.instagram.com/moral_shame_tales/

And if you want to read more about Lindy’s project called Moral shame talks tells and tales, please visit: www.lindyboerman.nl

Lindy explored the complexity of consumers’ moral shame in her master’s thesis that is the theoretical backbone of the podcast and can be read here. For the short summary, please see this.