Stories are much more than a means of communication—stories help us shape our identities, make sense of the world, and mobilize others to action. In Narrative Criminology, prominent scholars from across the academy and around the world examine stories that animate offending. From an examination of how criminals understand certain types of crime to be less moral than others, to how violent offenders and drug users each come to understand or resist their identity as ‘criminals’, to how cultural narratives motivate genocidal action, the case studies in this book cover a wide array of crimes and justice systems throughout the world.
The contributors uncover the narratives at the center of their essays through qualitative interviews, ethnographic fieldwork, and written archives, and they scrutinize narrative structure and meaning by analyzing genres, plots, metaphors, and other components of storytelling. In doing so, they reveal the cognitive, ideological, and institutional mechanisms by which narratives promote harmful action. Finally, they consider how offenders’ narratives are linked to and emerge from those of conventional society or specific subcultures. Each chapter reveals important insights and elements for the development of a framework of narrative criminology as an important approach for understanding crime and criminal justice. An unprecedented and landmark collection, Narrative Criminology opens the door for an exciting new field of study on the role of stories in motivating and legitimizing harm.
Foreword: Narrative Criminology as the New Mainstream vii Shadd Maruna Introduction: What Is the Story? 1 Lois Presser and Sveinung Sandberg Part I. Stories Construct Proper Selves 1. The Rapist and the Proper Criminal: The Exclusion of Immoral Others as Narrative Work on the Self 23 Thomas Ugelvik 2. In Search of Respectability: Narrative Practice in a Women’s Prison in Quito, Ecuador 42 Jennifer Fleetwood 3. Gendered Narratives of Self, Addiction, and Recovery among Women Methamphetamine Users 69 Jody Miller, Kristin Carbone-Lopez, and Mikh V. Gunderman 4. Moral Habilitation and the New Normal: Sexual Offender Narratives of Posttreatment Community Integration 96 Janice Victor and James B. Waldram Part II. Stories Animate and Mobilize 5. “The Race of Pale Men Should Increase and Multiply”: Religious Narratives and Indian Removal 125 Robert M. Keeton
“Lois Presser and Sveinung Sandberg are onto
something with this smart, beautifully organized collection of rich essays,
each showing the importance of the ‘narrative turn’ not only to sociology and
across disciplines, but to criminology.
The collection shows how people involved with crime, and criminologists
ourselves, use narrative all the time even though, until now, we may not have
known why.This book is bound to be the
‘go to’ volume about the centrality of stories to the criminological
enterprise.”-Lynn Chancer,author of High Profile Crimes: When Legal Cases Become Social Causes
"These essays provide a fascinating sense of the different perspectives narrative criminologists bring to understanding crime."-Critical Criminology
is an impressively global collection of case studies. Together these
demonstrate the flexibility, ubiquity and enduring utility of the concept of
narrative for criminology. It is shown to be both an analytic tool for scholars
and a resource shaping action and belief in the lifeworld. By exploring and highlighting these two properties
this book provides a valuable service to cultural criminology.”-Philip Smith,author of Punishment and Culture
“[The book] is positioned to draw on insights and methods from a vast field of inquiry and make the case for narrative as an important and putatively neglected perspective for understanding matters of crime and justice. In this volume, Lois Presser and Sveinung Sandberg bring together a set of contributions designed to do just that.”-Cultural Sociology
“This is a most interesting, rather eclectic collection of papers presented within an allegedly new category of ‘narrative criminology.’ Essentially, the editors maintain the importance of storytelling for a better understanding of ‘crime,’ and, of course, are quite right to do so. Summing Up: Highly recommended.”-Choice