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date: 24 September 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This essay discusses the relation among emotions, punishment, and justice. It reviews theoretical scholarship on the role of punishment in society and sociological research on emotions, including the “emotive turn” in criminal justice and scholarship on the painful experience of incarceration. It argues that although punishment has been justified as a rational response to the problem of crime, there are emotional dimensions to its practice and function that go beyond crime. The authors suggest that the phenomenon of punishment is inherently affective, and propose that scholars of criminal justice should pursue a more rigorous study of how emotions, subjectivity, and self-identities contribute to the existence and framework of punishment in late-modern societies, in order to properly examine its role and limitations.

Keywords: punishment, emotions, punitiveness, imprisonment, justice, affect, identity

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