The potential for a ‘narrative turn’ in victimology carries with it all kinds of possibilities and problems in adding nuanced understandings smoothed out and sometimes erased from the vision of victimhood provided by criminal victimisation data. In this chapter, we explore the methodological and theoretical questions posed by such a narrative turn by presenting the case of June: a mother bereaved by gun violence that unfolded in Manchester two decades ago. Excavated using in-depth biographical interviewing, June told the story of the loss of her son, the role of faith in dealing with the aftermath of violence and eventually, how this story became a source for change for the community in which it was read and heard. June's story provided an impetus for establishing a grassroots antiviolence organisation and continued to be the driver for that same group long after the issue it was formed to address had become less problematic. As a story it served different purposes for the individual concerned, for the group they were a part of and for the wider community in which the group emerged. However, this particular story also raises questions for victimology in its understanding of the role of voice in policy and concerning the nature of evidence for both policy and the discipline itself. This chapter considers what lessons narrative victimology might learn from narrative criminology, the overlaps that the stories of victims and offenders might share and what the implications these might have for understanding what it means to be harmed.
(2019), "Excavating Victim Stories: Making Sense of Agency, Suffering and Redemption", Cook, E.A., Walklate, S., Fleetwood, J., Presser, L., Sandberg, S. and Ugelvik, T. (Ed.) The Emerald Handbook of Narrative Criminology, Emerald Publishing Limited, pp. 239-257. https://doi.org/10.1108/978-1-78769-005-920191023Download as .RIS
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