The group and cultural context of restorative justice: a social psychological perspective

Van de Vyver, Julie, Travaglino, Giovanni, A., Vasiljevic, Milica and Abrams, Dominic (2015) The group and cultural context of restorative justice: a social psychological perspective. In: The psychology of restorative justice. Ashgate Publishing. ISBN 9781472455307

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Item Type:Book Section
Item Status:Live Archive


Social psychology offers important insights into the complexity and the barriers surrounding people’s attitudes towards restorative justice. We review some important group-based and cultural influences on people’s willingness to support restorative versus retributive justice. We then consider evidence of ways that people selectively may seek or expect restorative justice in relation to different types of social group. In particular, people advocate the basic right to equality differently for different social groups (women, disabled people, people aged over 70, Black, Muslim and gay people). By extension, support for restorative justice is also likely to depend on whether those receiving or demanding such justice are members of stigmatised social groups. We also consider the social psychological influences, including psychological representations of the 'other' on whether parties will seek and accept restorative justice. For example, those demanding justice may be more inclined to seek retributive rather than restorative justice if they view the “offender” as having sub-human qualities (a process known as dehumanisation). The final section describes recent empirical evidence demonstrating the importance of cultural factors (particularly honour and norms) in determining attitudes towards restorative versus retributive justice. We conclude by advocating that any analysis and implementation of restorative justice will benefit by taking into account the interdependence of meaning that it has for individual parties and for groups and communities in a wider social and societal context.

Keywords:restorative justice, social psychology
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C800 Psychology
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Psychology
ID Code:23164
Deposited On:19 May 2016 16:11

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