Source: (2006) Theoretical Criminology. 10(1):107-124.

This article analyses social dynamics in restorative justice conferences employing two distinct meanings of accountability: one embodied in performing gendered (and other) social relations, and the second, in performing remorse. Engaging feminist theory of ‘doing gender’ and structured action, offenders’ accounts of their behaviour, gendered participation of parents and community representatives are analysed. Specifically examined are three ideals of restorative justice: empowerment, remorse and reintegration, and bridging barriers between participants. The data analysed are from extensive field notes collected during six months of research into restorative justice in Australia and as a practitioner in Maine. Analyses reveal that achieving these ideals is more elusive than anticipated. Rather, accountability dynamics around gender, race and social class reinforce social privileges and disadvantage. (Author's abstract)