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Helen Merrell Lynd (1896 - 1982) was an American sociologist and social philosopher, and was the author of Shame and the Search for Identity and co-author of Middletown: A Study in Contemporary American Culture with husband Robert Staughton Lynd. She was a professor at Sarah Lawrence College from 1929 to 1964 (Lester 2007).
The model of shame that Lynd advocated in the book is loosely Marxian, insisting upon "the importance of historical context and of transcultural analysis within single social formations" (particularly Western). Her theory of shame finally hinges upon the clashing of different social or moral ‘values’ in specific locations at specific moments, highlighting the trauma experienced by members of communities marginal to dominant culture: those most likely to feel shame are those made to feel ‘inappropriate’ by dominant cultural norms" (Fox 1994:13).