This article aims to reconstruct the sociological and socio-legal debate about modesty, focusing on those sociological analyses that consider it as a social norm or as a legal norm. Although within the sociological debate there are several studies dealing with modesty (or shame) as an inner feeling - which are closer to psychological and philosophical perspectives - the prevailing thought in the history of sociology conceives of modesty as a rule, offering numerous inputs for scrutinizing the normative aspects of the social relationships. In particular, the author of this article firstly focuses, among the classics, on Norbert Elias, Vilfredo Pareto and Michel Foucault. Then, he pays attention to what of their thought around modesty is taken up in the recent works of Marcela Jacub, Jean Claude Kaufmann and Tamar Pitch, trying to provide a possible interpretation of the spreading of this norm in modern and in contemporary societies.
Keywords: Modesty - Norm - Self-Restraint - Power