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Cooley termed embarrassment - Research Paper Example

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Cooley Termed Embarrassment Embarrassment is a great emotional discomfort with oneself brought about by failure to show what is generally acceptable by other people based on morals, values, ethics, or any other ground. This is a feeling of an individual towards himself in relation to others…
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Cooley termed embarrassment
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Cooley termed embarrassment

This is due to the fact that the subject is conscious of the standards or expectations from him and any violation or deviation from it triggers the feeling of shame or embarrassment. Embarrassment can be classified into personal, professional, and social. Personal embarrassment refers to awkward situations due to personal flaws or mishaps, thus, it may be voluntary or otherwise. Involuntary causes of embarrassment could be physical defects from birth or due to accident. For example, a person born with cleft palate is obviously embarrassed by his looks and inability to talk clearly. Even if it’s socially accepted that the situation does not call for ridicule but rather sympathy, the subject find it hard not to get embarrassed, especially on first encounters with strangers. This is due to the fact that the subject knows fully-well that his situation is not normal or ideal. Voluntary causes of personal embarrassment on the other hand refers to one’s choice of action such as commission of a crime or engaging in obviously embarrassing acts and thereafter being discovered. For example, those who allow their partners to take their pictures while naked. Later on, when said pictures are posted on the internet and seen by family and friends, great embarrassment sets in. Professional embarrassment on the other hand is caused by apparent mistakes in the practice of profession based on written standards or generally-accepted principles of the position. For example, when Japan Trade Minister Yoshio Hachiro mistakenly described Fukushima Prefecture as the “city of death” due to the destructions of its infrastructures following the tsunami and earthquake in the area, he voluntarily and immediately resigned from the office. Hachiro knew fully-well that his statement was un-called for in that situation and should not come from a government officer like him. Similarly, social embarrassment is caused by actions or attitude which may be classified as violation of norms or standards for a certain group. For example, a well-respected man coming from a well-off and ideal family turns out to be a cheater. For some groups such as those in the squatters area of a third world country, cheating one’s wife is bad but considered normal occurrence. However, for those who belong in the upperclass of the society, being a cheater is one thing and cheating a wife through illicit affair with a housemaid is another. A popular example of this is the case of Arnold Schwarzenegger. As a popular actor and politician, Schwarzenegger undeniably belongs to the upperclass. However, when he was discovered to have begot a child with his housemaid, great embarrassment surely overpowered him. Such fact did not in any way boost his ego as a man, more so as a politician. An example of an embarrassment which could be classified as personal, professional and social is the case of former President Bill Clinton. He was charged and later on admitted as having an illicit sex with Monica Lewinsky in 1998. It was personal because the description of how it happened appears so humiliating and agitates the imagination of the listeners and readers. It was also professional and social because of his status as a President of a powerful country. Cooley used self-perception or the looking glass self in his study of embarrassment. He said that first, the subject must imagine himself as others must see him, similar ... Read More
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