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The Possible Role of Shame in the Desistance Process.

Fellegi, Borbála
June 4, 2015

Source: (2004) Essay for the Offender Reintegration Course. M.Phil in Criminology.

The title of this essay looks fairly simple for the first instance: we have two concepts and we
are looking for the possible relation between them. However, our second reaction immediately
shows the difficulties behind analysing their connection and we might say: “it depends on”. It
depends on what we call shame and what we call desistance.
This question influences the current analysis in at least three aspects. Firstly, both shame (Van
Stokkom, 2002) and desistance (Laub and Sampson, 2001; Maruna, 2001) play a mysterious role
in criminology due to the lack of clear conceptualisation and consensual definition related to
them. Therefore, despite the large number of studies in these fields, we still cannot guarantee that
we talk about the same phenomena, if we do not agree on their definitions. (excerpt)


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