“You don’t have to say straight out …” : Directed Impression Management at Victim–Offender Mediation Pre-meetings
Based on a study of two mediation centers in Sweden, this research shows how mediators encourage victim and offender impression management, regarding looks, attitudes, and speech. It shows how they supervise the emotion work of participants, preparing them for mediation encounters. The author investigates how mediators try to create a “balanced” interaction (e.g., preventing expressed prejudices or irresponsible attitudes between the parties). The mediation meeting is seen as an institutionalized interaction with a particular desired outcome. The suggested impression management can be seen as a corrective strategy, implying social control. This article aims to present new ways to understand the mediation process from a micro-sociological and dramaturgical viewpoint. Even if the encounter between offenders and victims is seen as the essence of restorative justice practices, analyses of the process are rare and needed. This process-based approach offers new insights for research in the fields of social science and restorative justice.
- Social Work
- ISSN: 0038-0237