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Shame and Criminal Justice

Braithwaite, John
June 4, 2015

Source: (2000) Canadian Journal of Criminology. 42(3)

This essay summarizes and reflects upon the theory of reintegrative shaming. Through concrete examples it shows how certain societies communicate disapproval of wrongdoing with respect. Yet in all societies we find a mix of reintegrative and stigmatizing forms of shaming. Hence in all societies it is argued that the structure of shame is important to explaining the pattern of crime. Normative and explanatory theories of crime are integrated in a way that conceives of restorative justice as an implication. The meta message of the essay is that integration of theories can bear fruit prescriptively and descriptively.


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