The Politics of Humiliation: A Modern History

Thomas W Laqeur at Literary Review:

No emotion stands nearer to the foundational myths of the human social order than shame. In the beginning, Adam and Eve stood together ‘both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed’. And then they ate of the tree of knowledge; their eyes opened; they knew they were naked; they covered themselves with fig leaves. Their shame was what told God they had fallen and become humans of our sort. Protagoras tells Socrates that after Prometheus had distinguished humans from other animals by giving them fire, Zeus gave them both shame and justice so that they could live together in harmony.

Shame is the emotion that signals to us that we have done something wrong or dishonourable; it is also what leaves us vulnerable to being made to feel dishonoured, degraded, disgraced or ashamed by the actions of others – that is, to be humiliated.

more here.