Scientific journal

New Psychological Research

Guseltseva M.S. Socialization in modern conditions: victimhood culture (review of foreign thematic publications)

Marina S. Guseltseva, Sc.D. (Psychology), Associate professor, Federal Scientific Center for Psychological and Interdisciplinary Research, Moscow, Russia; bld. 9–4, Mokhovaya str., Moscow, Russia, 125009; Russian State University for the Humanities, Moscow, Russia; bld. 6, Miusskaya square, Moscow, Russia, 125047;

A victimhood culture is one of the phenomena of our time, which in recent years has been actively comprehended in a number of publications. This review of foreign case studies focuses on two books that have studied the rise of a new moral culture on university campuses, the victim culture. In the book “The Rise of Victimhood Culture: Microaggressions, Safe Spaces, and the New Culture Wars” (2018), sociologists B. Campbell and J. Manning consider the change of three historical types of European moral cultures – honor culture, dignity culture and victimhood culture. Dignity culture as an ideal of modern democratic societies is characterized by the value of freedom of speech and tolerance for microaggressions. This means that ignoring or polite rebuff in response to microaggressions is the norm here. Whereas in a victimhood culture, public condemnation of the microaggressor, up to network harassment, becomes a social norm; as well as the requirement of external control over his behavior; a ban on certain statements and touching on sensitive topics; the need for trigger warnings and the allocation of safe spaces on university campuses. In “The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas Are Setting Up a Generation for Failure” (2018), G. Lukyanoff and J. Haidt examine the victimhood culture and the concept of microaggression from the perspective of cognitive behavioral therapy. They show that a victim culture is based on the loss of the subject's internal locus of control. The co-authors consistently debunk three cognitive fallacies that are implicit premises of victimhood culture: guarding oneself from pain and emotional trauma; trust your feelings without questioning them; some people are good and some people are evil, and good people have to fight against evil people. The authors of these books come to the conclusion that socialization in modern conditions creates risks of effeminacy for children and adolescents, thereby depriving them of self-government and resilience.


Key words: modernity, socialization, dignity culture, victimhood culture, subject


For citation: Guseltseva, M.S. (2023). Socialization in modern conditions: victimhood culture (review of foreign thematic publications). New Psychological Research, No. 3, 139–158. DOI: 10.51217/npsyresearch_2023_03_03_08


Keywords: modernity socialization dignity culture victimhood culture subject

Received: 15th october 2023

Published: 15th october 2023

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