Bringing together social science and literary sensibilities, this article employs a focused content analysis of the texts of three influential Norwegian novels for their personal portrayal of the relationship between modernization, the new welfare state, poverty, and shame. As significant facets of public imagination, the big and little stories presented in the novels deploy a decidedly social psychology, in which individual accounts reflexively relate to social life. Featuring associated characters and identities, the novels construct possible experiences. In this context, emotions such as shame are taken to be indigenous ingredients of modernization and the welfare state. The lessons of a lyrical sociology for understanding personal experience and social change are discussed in the conclusion.
Gubrium, E. Poverty, shame, and the class journey in public imagination. Distinktion: Scandinavian Journal of Social Theory (2013) : 1-18. [DOI: 10.1080/1600910X.2013.809370]