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Journey to Belonging: Flight from shame

Zehr, Howard
June 4, 2015

Source: (2002) Reflections: A Journal of the Conflict Transformation Program 1: 6-9.

In this article, Howard Zehr hypothesizes that the concepts of shame and honor operate in powerful ways in contemporary western cultures, and that they provide an important lens for understanding crime, justice, and the responses of victims. Specifically, he discusses the role of shame (humiliation) and the search for its opposite – honor (respect) – in the origins of offending behavior, the experience of justice for offenders, the trauma of victimization, and the experience of justice for victims. He then explores shame and honor in relation to retributive theory and restorative justice theory, the significance of narrative for offenders and victims, and the search for meaning and healing for offenders and victims.


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