Reintegrative shaming

Meredith Edelman, Nathan Harris

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Researchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Reintegrative shaming theory (RST), introduced in Braithwaite’s Crime, Shame and Reintegration, predicts that societies in which the censure of offending is reintegrative will experience lower rates of such offences than in societies where censure is stigmatizing. RST draws from various disciplines to explain crime rates, recidivism and deviant behaviour generally. It was developed in response to a general sense that theory in the field was stagnant, and sought to reconcile theoretical traditions previously seen as competing within a single framework. Braithwaite argues that to understand crime rates, we need to look beyond official mechanisms - beyond those penalties imposed by criminal justice systems - toward a broader understanding of how societies express disapproval of crimes. The crucial distinction RST makes is between stigmatization and reintegration, which can be viewed as opposite ends of a continuum. Drawing on labelling theory, Braithwaite argues that shaming can be stigmatizing, and that this response to offending is criminogenic.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Routledge Companion to Criminological Theory and Concepts
EditorsAvi Brisman, Eamon Carrabine, Nigel South
Place of PublicationAbingdon Oxon UK
Number of pages5
ISBN (Electronic)9781315744902
ISBN (Print)9781138818996, 9781138819009
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes

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