Sociology of Apologising
A sociology study finds that White men in public positions, especially politicians, are most likely to have to issue a public statement of apology, usually in connection to racism or a similarly offensive remark. Public figures are more likely to gain public forgiveness if they express shame and focus on their victims or the groups they offended. Conversely those who try to explain or excuse their behaviour and focus on their own feelings gain less sympathy.
One researcher says: “In analysing apologies, we found that when people did not put the victims front and centre and actually begin the apology by talking about the people they had victimised, their apologies tended to have less successful receptions.”
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