A Multidimensional Approach, Inspired by Depth Realism and the Criminological Imagination, to the Cartographic Exploration of Restorative Justice and the Reconstruction of this 'Chaotic Conception' into a 'Double-Focus Analytic Lens'
Paula Hirschmann, Université D'Ottawa / University Of Ottawa, Université D'Ottawa / University Of Ottawa
In this thesis I delineate an alternative approach to 'understand' and 'make sense' of restorative justice as a concept, practice, and field. This is informed by the ontological and epistemological foundations of depth realism and the abductive research strategy. I draw on several authors including John Tagg, Pierre Bourdieu, Karl Marx, Derek Layder, C. Wright Mills, Anthony Woodiwiss, and Norman Blaikie to develop my approach and I take the extant literature as data for meta-analysis. The thesis argues that restorative justice is chaotically conceptualized (Marx) in the literature and that a conception of 'scope' implicitly connects this literature. Drawing on depth realism (Tagg, Woodiwiss, Blaikie, Layder, Mills) and sensitizing concepts borrowed from Derek Layder, I develop a conception of 'scope' to enable an understanding of restorative justice as a 'two sided' (Layder) or 'double-focus' (Bourdieu) concept, one that captures both objective and subjective elements of the field and practice of restorative justice. This reconstruction of the concept of restorative justice is presented as a typology (a conceptual scheme or 'map'), which incorporates the most micro and material elements to the most macro and abstract. To account for why some interpretations of restorative justice have become dominant or more influential than others, I use the work of Bourdieu to explore restorative justice as a site of symbolic struggle. In its entirety, this approach allowed for the excavation of a deeper meaning of restorative justice and the polysemic nature of this phenomenon to be captured.
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