Stewart, A., Griffith University, Australia
The purpose of this paper is to explore our theoretical understandings of shame and the application of shame to managing offending behaviour. Braithwaite's theory of reintergrative shaming (1989) placed shame at the centre of restorative justice processes for corrective practice. However, little empirical research has examined the operation of shame in offender populations. In psychology over the past 20 years there has been a revolution in the study of emotion. Of particular interest is the research examining the self-conscious emotions, shame, guilt, embarrassment and pride. Researchers have examined the role of these emotions in the regulation of the individuals social relations as well as the impact on the individual's development of self. In this paper a brief overview of this emerging literature will be presented. In addition, results of some initial research examining the operation of shame and guilt in an offender population will be presented. The implications of these findings for our understanding and management of offending behaviour will be discussed.