The Semiotics of Humiliation

Andi Rachmawati Syarif(1*), Nursidah Nursidah(2)
(1) Universitas Muhammadiyah Kendari
(2) Universitas Hasanuddin
(*) Corresponding Author
DOI : 10.24256/ideas.v8i2.1569


Being almost inseparable from human being, ‘Humiliation’ and ‘dignity’ must be considered as much more universal substance. Its counterpart must be regarded as having the same level of universality. However, is the fact that the form of both ‘dignity’ and ‘humiliation’ differ so much around the world, that the two terms probably represent the best argument for that there are big differences between cultures and nations.  Since the experience of humiliation does not necessary result in an immediate feeling of being humiliated. Thus one of the core challenges is to find the solution of how ‘humiliation’ on the one hand represents something universal and on the other hand is the best argument for non-universality in the world. In this sense, the essay seems to be much easier to say something about the cause for humiliation instead of its effect on the victim.  Yet, this essay attempts to point out how these terms might be understood in attempt at making them meaningful in itself and fruitful for empirical investigation.


victim;dignity ;humiliation; insult;, shamed


Adorno, Theodor W., Frenkel-Brunswik, Else, Levinson, Daniel J.; Sandford, R. Nevit (1997). The Authoritarian Personality, University of California, Berkeley

Adorno, Theodor W. (1997). Gesammelte Schriften Band 9.1, Sociologischen Schriften II, ErsteHἂlfte, Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, Darmstadt.

Crawford, B. & Lipschutz, R.D. (Eds). (200). The Myth of ‘Ethnic Conflict’: Politics, Economics and ‘Cultural’ Violence, University of California, Berkeley.

Eriksson, M., Eriksson, U., & Linder, C. (2020). Using social semiotics and variation theory to analyze learning challenges in physics: a methodological case study. European Journal of Physics, 41(6), 065705.

Halliday, M.A.K. (1978). Language as Social Semiotic: The Social Interpretationof Language and Meaning. Maryland. University Park Press.

Husum, T. L., Thorvarsdottir, V., Aasland, O., & Pedersen, R. (2020). ‘It comes with the territory’-Staff experience with violation and humiliation in mental health care-A mixed method study. International journal of law and psychiatry, 71, 101610.

Hodge, R and G. Kress. (1988). Social Semiotics. Cambridge: Polity

Hofstede, G. (1980). Culture’s consequences: International differences in work-related values, CA: Sage, Newberry Park.

Ibrahim, I., & Sulaiman, S. (2020). Semiotic Communication: An Approach Of Understanding A Meaning In Communication. International Journal of Media and Communication Research, 1(1), 22-31.

Kalelioğlu, M. (2019). From Semantics to Semiotics. Chinese Semiotic Studies, 15(3), 317-348.

Kasabova, A. (2017). From Shame to Shaming: towards an Analysis of Shame Narratives; Open Cultural Studies 2017; 1: 99-112. DE GRUYTER.

Mikhaeil, C. A., & Baskerville, R. L. (2019). Using semiotics to analyze representational complexity in social media. Information and Organization, 29(4), 100271.

Pia, T., Galynker, I., Schuck, A., Sinclair, C., Ying, G., & Calati, R. (2020). Perfectionism and Prospective Near-Term Suicidal Thoughts and Behaviors: The Mediation of Fear of Humiliation and Suicide Crisis Syndrome. International journal of environmental research and public health, 17(4), 1424.

Rampton, Ben (2001) Language Crossing, Cross-talk, and Cross-disciplinarity in Sociolingusitics, Kings College : London.

Simpkins, Scott. (1994). The Semiotic of Humiliation. The American Journal of Semiotics; Kent. Semiotic Society of America. Kent. United States. ISSN: 02777126. ID. 213748552 Vol. 11, Iss. 3/4, (1994): 307-314

Article Statistic

Abstract view : 91 times
PDF views : 51 times

How To Cite This :


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2020 Andi Rachmawati Syarif, Nursidah Nursidah

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.