Exploring State Shame Cross-Culturally

Fanie Collardeau is conducting two interconnected research projects as part of her doctoral dissertation. The two research projects evolved out of an in-depth review of the current literature on shame and guilt, and multiple informal discussions with Pakistani immigrants to Canada. The projects aim to expand the existing research by exploring individual’s beliefs about shame and experiences of state shame in different social and cultural contexts.

Study One: Completed

Study one explored the beliefs about shame held by Pakistani immigrants to Canada, without imposing Western frameworks or definitions. Participants completed phone or email interviews. These interviews were analyzed using grounded theory (which allowed for the data to drive theory building) and provided insight into how Pakistani immigrants in Canada, a group which has been under-represented in Psychology research, understand shame and the role of this emotion. We are lucky to have the help of a translator, Usama Bin Aftab, to carry the interviews in both Urdu and English, and of Dr. Tahira Jibeen who is acting as a consultant.

We would like to thank all our wonderful participants and the community members who shared the study. Your support makes it possible to complete this research and we are incredibly grateful!


Collardeau, F., Dupuis, H. & Woodin, E. (accepted) The Role of Culture and Social Threats in Constructing Shame. Canadian Psychology/Psychologie Canadienne.

Collardeau, F., Bin Aftab, M. U., Jibeen, T., & Woodin, E. (2021). Pakistani immigrants’ nuanced beliefs about shame and its regulation. International Perspectives in Psychology : Research, Practice, Consultation, 10(1), 25-38. https://doi.org/10.1027/2157-3891/a000004

Study Two: Recruitment on-going

Study two aims to explore and contrast Pakistani immigrants in Canada and Canadian-born participants reports on their feelings of state shame and guilt. It will also explore whether experiences of discrimination influence individuals’ self-report of state shame and guilt.

If you and your parents were born in Canada, are 19 years-old or older, and you currently live in Canada, please follow this link to participate:https://www.surveymonkey.ca/r/7TXKL38

If you were born in Pakistan, are 19 years-old or older, and you currently live in Canada, please follow this link to participate: https://www.surveymonkey.ca/r/7VY5XTS

If you are interested in participating, have questions or would like to help as a research assistant, you can contact Fanie Collardeau at emotionsresearch@uvic.ca