This book, a contribution to general criminological theory, suggests that the key to why some societies have higher crime rates than others lies in the way different cultures go about the social process of shaming wrongdoers. Shaming can be counterproductive, making crime problems worse. But when shaming is done within a cultural context of respect for the offender, it can be extraordinarily powerful, efficient, and just form of social control.
'Braithwaite's new book is important. It integrates legalistic ideas about deterrence with sociological and social psychological ideas about why people commit delinquencies and crimes. It won't be the last word on crime causation but it will set scholars and researchers on the right path to enunciating the last word. I predict that Crime, Shame and Reintegration will become an important pattern-setting document in criminology.' Donald R. Cressey, late Emeritus Professor, Department of Sociology, University of California, Santa Barbara