Restorative Justice Doesn’t Work? In an effort to re-conceptualize punishment and to reevaluate restorative justice from the perspective of culture and ritual

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Restorative Justice Doesn’t Work? In an effort to re-conceptualize punishment and to reevaluate restorative justice from the perspective of culture and ritual

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Title: Restorative Justice Doesn’t Work? In an effort to re-conceptualize punishment and to reevaluate restorative justice from the perspective of culture and ritual
Author: Dutton, Zachary
Department: Haverford College. Dept. of Sociology
Type: Thesis (B.A.)
Issue Date: 2010
Abstract: I assess ritual theory and its relevance and workability in explaining postmodern Western societies, and I thereby arrive at a functional definition for ritual. I center this functional definition within cultural theories in sociology, arguing that the crux of human action remains squarely within ritualistic meaning making processes that reinforce values and (when needed) redress deviance. Punishment, therefore, is a kind of ritual. Punishment is a name for ritual when it redresses deviance. Restorative justice is another name for the same kind of ritual. I further structurally distinguish between punishment and restorative justice, arguing that they are functionally equivalent. I achieve this argument by asserting that all ritual activity in postmodern Western societies is procedural: ritualistic and oriented to rational egalitarian values. Though restorative justice is different in form than punishment, it takes the same function as punishment in Western societies in so far as all restorative justice processes retain some "sanctioning" component. No restorative justice process is successful in redressing deviance in postmodern Western societies without at least the threat of negative sanctions, which would rest in the background.
Subject: Restorative justice
Subject: Restorative justice -- Sociological aspects
Subject: Criminal justice, Administration of
Subject: Ritual
Terms of Use: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/us/
Permanent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10066/5625

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Dutton, Zachary. "Restorative Justice Doesn’t Work? In an effort to re-conceptualize punishment and to reevaluate restorative justice from the perspective of culture and ritual". 2010. Available electronically from http://hdl.handle.net/10066/5625.

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