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The marginalised woman: thinking beyond victim/offender in restorative justice

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feminist post-structuralist thought, marginalised woman, offender/victim dichotomy, feminist restorative justice

Abstract (summary)

Restorative justice (RJ) promises to be a better approach to justice for victims and offenders. In doing so, however, it relies on and reinforces identities that have been constructed by the traditional justice system. This paper examines the value of complicating the distinction between, and ultimately thinking beyond, the identities of Victim and Offender. The paper begins with a review of feminist scholarship to argue that RJ should not embrace the identity of Victim or Offender without consideration. The author provides a discursive analysis of community justice programmes in Winnipeg MB, Canada. Staff frame the women they work in ways that trouble the Offender/Victim dichotomy. The dominant subject they construct is the Marginalised Woman. Though the programmes work with criminalised women staff stress the women’s experiences of victimisation and marginalisation. This paper argues that much of the potential for RJ to provide something unique is in its refusal of Offender/Victim identities.

Publication Information

Nelund, A. (2017). The marginalised woman: thinking beyond victim/offender in restorative justice. Restorative Justice, 5(3), 408.


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