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Shame

Shame is a powerful emotion. Some have suggested that restorative justice allows offenders to experience and then remove a sense of shame for their behaviour. These articles discuss the usefulness or destructiveness of including shame as a part of restorative justice theory and practice.

Mills, Linda G.. Shame and intimate abuse: The critical missing link between cause and cure.
Intimate abuse scholars have not, in general, recognized how central shame is in motivating perpetrators toward violence and in overshadowing a victim's experience of abuse. By teasing out what I call the shameful experience, victim and offender may gain new insight into the origins of violence. Acknowledging that shame is entwined both in the precipitation and reaction to violence provides a critical missing link in understanding the phenomenon of intimate abuse. Developing new mechanisms for identifying and addressing shame may be key to interrupting violence, as well as preventing its transmission to the next generation of victims and offenders. (author's abstract)
Morris, Allison. Revisiting reintegrative shaming
In this article, Morris looks again at John Braithwaite’s theory of reintegrative shaming.
Murphy, Kristina and Harris, Nathan. Shaming, Shame and Recidivism: A Test of Reintegrative Shaming Theory in the White-Collar Crime Context.
Despite the popularity of reintegrative shaming theory in the field of criminology, only a small number of studies purporting to test it have been published to date. The aim of the present study, therefore, is to provide an empirical test of Braithwaite's (1989; Braithwaite and Braithwaite 2001) theory of reintegrative shaming in the white-collar crime context. The data on which the study is based came from survey data collected from a group of 652 tax offenders. Consistent with predictions, it was found that feelings of reintegration/stigmatization experienced during an enforcement event were related to reoffending behaviour. Those taxpayers who felt that their enforcement experience had been reintegrative in nature were less likely to report having evaded their taxes two years later. Consistent with Braithwaite and Braithwaite's (2001) hypotheses, shame-related emotions were also found to partially mediate the effect of reintegration on subsequent offending behaviour. Implications for the effective regulation of white-collar offenders are discussed. (author's abstract)
Pynchon, Victoria.. Shame by Any Other Name: Lessons for Restorative Justice From the Principles, Traditions and Practices of Alcoholics Anonymous
Restorative Justice theorists and practitioners assert that censuring the offender’s criminal behavior and its deleterious effect on the victim without stigmatizing him will engender empathy for the victim and accountability in the offender, thus reducing recidivism. Whether participation in a single VOM can accomplish such far-reaching foals has been the subject of much debate in restorative justice circles. This paper suggests that a thorough understanding of – together with shame-reducing VOM practices and post-offender shame-reduction ‘recovery’ programs – are absolutely necessary if restorative justice is to achieve its rehabilitative goals. (excerpt)
Restorative justice must humble if it is to be judged a success
an editorial in the Derby Telegraph: There is little doubt that restorative justice makes sense. Certainly when it was first brought in, the suggestion that a victim of crime being handed immediate compensation by a perpetrator made sense.
Review: The psychology of emotion in restorative practice: how Affect Script Psychology explains how and why restorative justice works
Reviewed by Martin Wright: The phrase 'hate the sin but love the sinner' is attributed to Gandhi, although St Augustine said something similar. More recent psychological thinking takes the idea further, saying that the person him or herself should be encouraged to greater self-esteem. This is one more plank in the case against punishment as an acceptable or effective way of controlling each other's behaviour. Students of restorative practices are moving from research into whether they work to explaining why they work, and this book is an example. (Another is Meredith Rossner's Just emotions: rituals of restorative justice, 2013).
Shame and restorative justice
Have you ever embarrassed someone intentionally? If so, why did you do it? Maybe it was an accident or a joke taken too far. Maybe you wanted to get back at them for something wrong they had done to you. If you’ve ever done this, you’re not alone, for the criminal justice system also uses embarrassment and shame to accomplish its goals.
Shame and restorative processes
Sherman, Lawrence W and Strang, Heather. The Right Kind of Shame for Crime Prevention
Claiming that the Australian Federal Police in Canberra have adopted alternative restorative justice techniques, the authors discuss two kinds of shame, as distinguished by John Braithwaite: stigmatic shaming, which disintegrates the moral bonds between the offender and the community; and reintegrative shaming, which strengthens the moral bonds between the offender and the community. They argue that shame does not require humiliation. Rather, reintegrative shaming condemns the crime, not the criminal. It gives offenders the opportunity to re-join their community as law-abiding citizens. In order to earn that right to a fresh start, offenders must express remorse for their past conduct, apologise to any victims and repair the harm caused by the crime.
Shiuh-Jeng Wang and Frank Fu-Yuan Huang and Da-Yu Kao . Persistence and desistance: examining the impact of re-integrative shaming to ethics in Taiwan juvenile hackers.
The Internet community has been addressing the unethical behavior of juvenile delinquents for years. Nevertheless, the concepts of hacker shame and ethics have received little empirical study from a theoretical perspective in the field of cyber criminology. Braithwaite's re-integrative Shaming Theory posits that it can restrain individuals from committing future offenses, and that those who participate in this shaming process are less likely to consider breaking the law in the first place. Among the abundance of criminological theories, the re-integrative Shaming Theory may be the most suitable theory to restrain hacker activities. This study focuses on the working relationship between nine juvenile delinquents and the shaming mechanism applied to them. However, applying this approach to reduce recidivism among computer hackers requires a great deal of time and effort. It is proposed that the state of shame or remorse is associated with the compounded affective processes of hacker ethics. The proposed solution creates a code of ethics for hackers, distinguishes right from wrong, and ensures a greater success for Braithwaite's re-integrative shaming methods. This paper discusses the problems and solutions related to the Shaming Theory, as well as their usefulness in the context of community-based restorative justice. It is argued that re-integrative shaming, without appropriate consideration for the offender's personal code of ethics, is insufficient when handling hacking offenses committed by juveniles. Our main concern is to find out how to help or encourage the offender's reintegration and re-entering into the community, and how s/he can avoid failure. It is hoped that our proposed strategy can prevent future offending behaviors by these juveniles. Implications drawn from the findings are discussed, and suggestions are offered to ensure the success of this theory when applied to juvenile hackers. (author's abstract)
Should DUI mug shots be on Facebook?
from Johnathan Kana's entry on ThinkChristian.net: Shame has its proper place, of course. Until we experience shame, deep remorse for our deeds is impossible and enduring reform is unlikely. But shame as a noun is quite a different thing from shame as a verb. The former is not induced by the latter. Good shame is advanced through acts of love, not acts of retribution. I am therefore highly skeptical of whether publicly shaming DUI offenders will actually save many lives. Even supposing such a measure might prove effective, though, I fear the collateral damage done to offenders’ friends and family may be too high a price to pay. And from the sounds of it, a “party city” like Huntington Beach would not be able to maintain a shame culture for very long. Within months there would be dozens or more photos posted, and it is difficult to publicly shame someone when his face becomes lost in an ever-widening crowd.
Tosouni, Anastasia and Ireland, Connie. Shaming Youthful Offenders: An Empirical Test of Reintegrative Shaming Theory.
This study used secondary data from the RISE project, which compared the effects of restorative conferencing with traditional court processing to test the theory of Reintegrative Shaming. A total of 249 cases were used to explore which factors related to the concept of reintegrative shaming were linked to lower projected offending of youthful offenders. The accuracy of the proposed Reintegrative Shaming theoretical model was examined through path analysis. There was partial support for the theory. First, Reintegration, Procedural Justice and Shame-Guilt were higher in conferences than in courts. Second, Procedural Justice and feelings of Shame-Guilt significantly lowered intentions of reoffending. However, contrary to the theory’s expectations, Reintegration affected projected recidivism only among conference participants, whereas Stigmatization and feelings of Unresolved Shame were not significant predictors in either setting. These findings suggest that reintegrative shaming may be a stronger predictor of conformity in restorative rather than in traditional, punitive contexts, and that the theory must be also tested in other, non criminal justice settings. (author's abstract)
Ttofi, Maria M. and Farrington, David P. Reintegrative Shaming Theory, moral emotions and bullying.
This article investigates the usefulness of Reintegrative Shaming Theory (RST) in explaining the bullying of siblings in families and peers in schools. Questionnaires were completed by 182 children aged 11-12 years in ten primary schools in Nicosia, Cyprus, about sibling and peer bullying. A vignette-based methodology was used to investigate children's expectations of the type of shaming their parents would offer in response to their possible wrong doing. Children were also asked questions about the emotions they would have felt (i.e. shame, remorse, guilt or anger) if they were in the position of the child in the vignette. The level of bonding toward each parent was also examined. In agreement with the theory, a path analysis showed that mother bonding influenced children's expectations of the type of shaming offered by parents. Disintegrative shaming (i.e. shaming offered in a stigmatizing or rejecting way) had a direct effect on the way children managed their shame. Shame management directly influenced sibling and peer bullying. Father bonding had no direct or indirect effects in the model. Against the theory, reintegrative shaming (i.e. shaming offered in the context of approving the wrongdoer while rejecting the wrongdoing) did not have a direct effect on shame management. Beyond the postulates of RST, mother bonding - a plausible indicator of family functioning - had a direct effect on sibling and peer bullying. Mother bonding had a stronger effect for boys than for girls. It is concluded that RST is useful in explaining the link between family factors and bullying, and that RST has cross-cultural applicability. (author's abstract)
Webb, Tony. Towards a mature shame culture: theoretical and practical tools for personal and social growth
Towards a mature shame culture seeks to identify new tools for social change through a deeper understanding of the social psychology of shame and guilt. The study takes as its starting point a suggestion by Richard Hauser and Hephzibah Menhuin-Hauser that many personal and social crises can be interpreted through the lens of a late 20th Century transition from a guilt culture to an 'infantile' shame culture. Implicit in this is the need to develop more socially mature forms.This idea is placed in the context of praxis for personal/social growth drawing on previously unpublished material from the Hauser's archive. The study then explores a theoretical framework for understanding the social psychology of emotions in general, and shame in particular. It draws on affect psychology, micro-sociology and social attachment theory. Shame is located primarily as a social emotion, with a normative function of monitoring social bonds between people - rather than, as it is usually framed, as a 'self-conscious', 'negative' and 'pathological'emotion. This reframing of the experience highlights the 'salutogenic' function of shame in building and strengthening relationships. In this frame much of what is commonly thought of as 'shame' can be seen to be the result of unacknowledged shame, where other emotions are bound to the sense of shame and carried as 'toxic' memories of unresolved shame experiences. This pattern of unresolved shame can be seen at the root of the personal and social pathologies of violence and alienation.The study charts how attempts to communicate this salutogenic perspective on shame led to an experiential education workshop Working with shame… Finally, the study explores how this perspective on shame might inform social crisis-intervention programs at community level; and how it might be applied to the larger, and longer-term challenge of bringing about cultural change. Author's abstract.
Zandbergen, Anke. Shaming in a Dutch diversion project
In this paper Zandbergen, reviewing a Dutch diversion project for juveniles, maintains that it constitutes an application of Braithwaite’s reintegrative shaming theory. Her argument consists of a description of this Dutch diversion project, a summary of reintegrative shaming, and a discussion of shame and guilt. Preliminary research findings on this project are also included.

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