The International Journal of Restorative Justice

Article

Listening deeply to public perceptions of Restorative Justice

What can researchers and practitioners learn?

Keywords Public perception, media, apophatic listening, online comments, understandings of restorative justice
Authors Dorothy Vaandering en Kristin Reimer
Author's information

349658 Dorothy Vaandering
Dorothy Vaandering, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Education, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John’s, Canada.

349661 Kristin Reimer
Kristin Reimer, Ph.D., is a lecturer in Restorative Justice and Relational Pedagogies at the Faculty of Education, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia.
  • Abstract

      This article explores public perceptions of restorative justice through the examination of media articles and negative online reader comments surrounding a high-profile incident in a Canadian university in which a restorative process was successfully engaged. Utilising relational discourse analysis, we identify how restorative justice is presented in the media and how that presentation is taken up by the public. Media representations of restorative justice create understandings among the public that are profoundly different from how many restorative justice advocates perceive it. The aim of this article is to examine media representations of restorative justice and how these are received by the public so that we can respond constructively.

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