Source: (2008) Journal of Contemporary Ethnography.First published online on 23 August asdoi:10.1177/0891241608322814.

Recently, criminal justice professionals have advocated restorative justice as an alternative to traditional punitive practices. Extant research has not examined the strategic interpersonal dynamics between victims, offenders, supporters, and facilitators during restorative justice sessions. Our ethnographic study addresses this gap. Building on studies of emotion in reintegrative shaming, we explore how shaming emotions are dramaturgically mediated by the rhetorical use of victim roles. We suggest that this micropolitical shame management facilitates apparently meaningful outcomes, undermines them, or results in agreements based more on realpolitik than reintegration. Our data are derived from detailed field notes at 28 youth restorative justice sessions in a mid-sized Canadian city. Our findings reveal a different picture than the frequently idealized images of restorative justice, thus underscoring the need for further analysis in this important area of criminal justice. (author's abstract)