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Is "emotional blackmail" the same as 道德绑架?


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When I was editing the Wiktionary entry for "emotional blackmail" a while back I translated the term as follows:




But now that I think of it, 道德绑架 may be a better translation...


Can anyone tell me if 道德绑架 has the same meaning as "emotional blackmail" ("the psychological misuse of a person's emotions or insecurities in order to influence their behaviour")? Thanks.

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I'd be interested to know if this term exists, but I wouldn't be surprised if there wasn't.


Mostly because, in my own humble experience at least, emotional blackmail is incredibly commonplace in China, at least compared to England. I would imagine that many people here rely on it a lot without even realising they are doing it.


If I were to describe the behaviour myself, I would probably use the verb 逼。

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  • 1 month later...

Kenny, just following up on this, how would you define 道德绑架 then? It seems to differ from "emotional blackmail" to some degree, but I still don't quite get it.

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I haven't heard the word 道德绑架 before, but the description on 百度百科 makes it sound like it's a bit different from emotional blackmail: 



所谓的“道德绑架”,只可能是在用圣人的标准要求普通人,用美德来要求道德义务,或混淆政治义务和道德义务的情况下才成立。  比如,要求一个人舍身救人,否则就要谴责,这就是道德绑架;要求一个人掏钱支持希望工程,这尽管是一件好事,但如果一个人不掏就要谴责,这也是道德绑架,因为这并非他的道德义务。“道德绑架”之所以发生,除去人的精神结构不谈,根源就是道德判断逻辑的混乱。


I.e. it seems more like holding people to impossibly high moral standards, like in their example, blaming someone for not sacrificing their life in order to rescue others, or blaming them for not spending their own money to help other people accomplish their goals. Conceptually, that seems a bit different from using someone's emotions as a weapon against them. 

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Thanks Kenny, that's not a bad explanation. I've been collecting these quintessentially Chinese expressions for a new blog entry, but I found there's just too many...

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