Braithwaite, John: Reintegrative Shaming Theory

Nathan Harris

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

    Abstract

    John Braithwaite's Crime, Shame and Reintegration, published in 1989, presented a general theory of crime at a time when criminology was criticized for theoretical stagnation. The theory received considerable attention, both among criminologists who have sought to test its hypotheses, and in the growing field of restorative justice. From a theoretical perspective, the theory is interesting because it shows that competing theoretical traditions could be reconciled within a single framework, but its more significant contribution has been to highlight the potential of reintegrative practices and challenge the emphasis placed on punishment in debates on criminal justice. At its center, the theory concerns the distinction between stigmatization and reintegration. But a deeper reading of the theory shows that it is concerned with the way in which individuals, communities, and societies form normative expectations through shaming and how individuals manage the emotions that accompany social disapproval when they violate these norms. This theoretical perspective has continued to develop over the last two decades during which time Braithwaite has offered a revision of the theory, buttressed it with a normative theory of justice, and has supplemented it with a theory that proposes a broader framework for regulation.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationThe Encyclopedia of Criminological Theory
    Editors Francis T. Cullen, Pamela Wilcox
    Place of PublicationLondon
    PublisherSage Publications Inc
    Pages110-114
    ISBN (Print)9781412959186
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2010

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