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Thursday, February 27, 2014

The Breastplate of Righteousness

"In donning the breastplate of righteousness, the covert deviant assumes a protective shield of superpropriety. His armor has a particularly shiny quality, a refulgence, which tends to blind the audience to certain of the practices. To others in his everyday world, he is not only normal but righteous – an exemplar of good behavior and right thinking. However much the covert participant may be reacting to guilt in erecting his defensive barrier, he is also engaging in a performance that is part and parcel of his being. Goffman remarks that “there is often no reason for claiming that the facts discrepant with the fostered impression are any more the real reality than is the fostered reality they embarass.” The secret offender may well believe he is more righteous than the next man – hence his shock and outrage, his disbelieving indignation, when he is discovered and discredited."

- Laud Humphreys

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