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Making peace with shame

Pepinsky, Hal.
June 4, 2015

Source: (2000) The Red Feather Journal of Postmodern Criminology 8. Downloaded 2 June 2004.

Shame and shaming are much discussed in certain circles as potentially constituting a restorative approach to addressing offending behavior and reintegrating offenders into society. Questioning the terminology of shame and shaming, Hal Pepinsky reflects on shame from a different perspective. He emphasizes shame as the need or desire to conceal truth or reality. The example he uses is shame induced in the victim of child abuse. Through this concealment, shame erodes trust and community; it both hides violence and fosters violence (of many kinds). Pepinsky therefore argues that the challenge of building community in the aftermath of violence is to encourage both victims and offenders to acknowledge the violence and the harm done while letting go of shame.


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