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Publication date: 7 October 2019

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The Emerald Handbook of Narrative Criminology
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78769-006-6

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Book part
Publication date: 7 October 2019

This chapter explores the intersections between narrative criminology and material culture studies using a single object – my wife's old Nazi rifle – as an example. It…

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This chapter explores the intersections between narrative criminology and material culture studies using a single object – my wife's old Nazi rifle – as an example. It describes the various connections between the stories we tell and the things that surround us, including the stories objects represent, the stories they may prompt us to tell, the stories we tell using objects as props and the stories our material objects tell us about their owners or users. An object will always tell stories about past, present and future use. This is true of all objects, not just old Nazi rifles, but some things will carry more narrative potential than others. Finally, I ask whether some narratively loaded objects may anticipate or perhaps even precipitate certain actions. Is it true that some objects sometimes ask us to put them to use?

Details

The Emerald Handbook of Narrative Criminology
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78769-006-6

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Book part
Publication date: 7 October 2019

This chapter is based on an ethnographic study of an English medium-security prison housing men convicted of sex offences. It argues that victims haunted (Gordon, 2008

Abstract

This chapter is based on an ethnographic study of an English medium-security prison housing men convicted of sex offences. It argues that victims haunted (Gordon, 2008) both the prison and the narratives of the men it held: they were ever-present in discourse, but depersonalised and lacking in agency. How prisoners described their victims said a great deal about how they sought to portray themselves, and the chapter makes this point by outlining three basic ‘types’ of story. In the first, the prisoner knew the victim well and deliberately sought to remember their suffering; at the same time, they themselves hoped not to be defined by their status as an offender. In the second, the victim was largely missing from the narrative, either because the prisoners barely remembered them or because the prisoners did not really consider them to be a victim. In the third type of story, the prisoners considered themselves to be the real victim, and considered the official victim as well as the criminal justice system to be responsible for their suffering. The chapter concludes by arguing victims were ghosts because the prison only allowed them to appear in certain ways. It suggests that narrative criminologists consider the relationship between narratives and justice, and that one way of doing this is to think about what stories don't communicate as well as what they do.

Details

The Emerald Handbook of Narrative Criminology
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78769-006-6

Keywords

To view the access options for this content please click here
Book part
Publication date: 7 October 2019

Abstract

Details

The Emerald Handbook of Narrative Criminology
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78769-006-6

To view the access options for this content please click here
Book part
Publication date: 7 October 2019

This chapter demonstrates the value of ethnographic research to the study of the relationship between legal narrative and professional identity. It focuses on the ethical…

Abstract

This chapter demonstrates the value of ethnographic research to the study of the relationship between legal narrative and professional identity. It focuses on the ethical and professional judgements embedded in American federal prosecutors' creation and critiques of opening and closing statements. Drawing on ethnographic research, I argue that these statements revolve around the concept of ‘justice’, which prosecutors articulate, affirm and contest through the narratives of honesty and impartiality. More broadly, these conceptions of justice inform how federal prosecutors understand their identities and roles as professional legal actors. Ethnography's unique value lies in furnishing data pertaining to how trial narratives are fashioned and refined through ‘workshopping’ before these narratives are shared with jurors. The chapter thus highlights processes of narrative reflexivity and story composition.

Details

The Emerald Handbook of Narrative Criminology
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78769-006-6

Keywords

To view the access options for this content please click here
Book part
Publication date: 7 October 2019

Following recent terrorist attacks in the US and Europe, Western Muslims have been criticised for not taking a firm stand against radical Islam and extremist…

Abstract

Following recent terrorist attacks in the US and Europe, Western Muslims have been criticised for not taking a firm stand against radical Islam and extremist organisations. Drawing on insights from narrative criminology, we challenge such assertions and reveal Muslims' narrative mobilisation against violent jihadism. Based on 90 qualitative interviews with young Muslims in Norway, we show how violent extremism is rejected in a multitude of ways. This narrative resistance includes criticising extremist jihadist organisations for false interpretations of Islam and using derogatory terms to describe them. It also includes less obvious forms of narrative resistance, such as humour and attempts to silence jihadist organisations by ignoring them. While narrative criminology has effectively analysed the stories that constitute harm, less attention has been paid to narratives that counter harm. We argue that stories that counter jihadi narratives are crucial to understand the narrative struggles of Muslim communities, whose outcomes can help determine why some individuals end up becoming religious extremists – while others do not. By distinguishing between factual, emotional and humorous counternarratives and describing silence as a form of resistance, we show resistance to extremism that is often concealed from the public and the state.

Details

The Emerald Handbook of Narrative Criminology
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78769-006-6

Keywords

To view the access options for this content please click here
Book part
Publication date: 7 October 2019

Narrative criminology has continued to expand as an important theoretical and methodological contribution to the study of crime and justice. However, the vast majority of…

Abstract

Narrative criminology has continued to expand as an important theoretical and methodological contribution to the study of crime and justice. However, the vast majority of narrative work focuses on the narrative development of those identified as criminal offenders, and little research has explored the narratives of those employed within the criminal justice system. This chapter examines the importance of police storytelling and the unique narratives vital to the cultural life and institution of policing. Police stories are an important part of the ‘meaning-making structure’ in policing and often convey particular power well beyond the limitations of formal organizational or agency policy. Police stories frequently influence understandings of the nature of social problems; community change and decay; and even understandings of race, class, and gender. Police narratives and stories also offer some unique methodological challenges for narrative scholars. Analysis of police stories must focus on the underlying plot details while still analysing the themes or metaphors provided by the narrative. This may require specific attention to the role the story plays in police culture, training, and development of organizational cohesion. Furthermore, narrative researchers must explore the shared narratives distinctive to the profession, while still examining unique meanings that stories convey to different departments and even specialized units. Finally, access to police organizations and individual officers can represent unique challenge for narrative researchers. By examining police narratives, we gain unique insight into the production and maintenance of police authority and culture accomplished through the storytelling process.

Details

The Emerald Handbook of Narrative Criminology
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78769-006-6

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 7 October 2019

This chapter draws on previous work calling for a narrative criminology sensitive to fictional stories about how we have instigated or sustained harmful action with…

Abstract

This chapter draws on previous work calling for a narrative criminology sensitive to fictional stories about how we have instigated or sustained harmful action with respect to the environment. It begins by offering some defining features of narrative criminology, before turning to two examples of narrative criminological work focused on environmental crime and/or harm. One analyzes a corporate (offender's) website; the other examines attorneys' stories of environmental wrongdoing. Together, they depict a cultural narrative in the US of the causes, consequences, punishments (or lack thereof) and corporate representations of environmental harm. Next, this chapter turns to a discussion of examples of depictions or representations of environmental harm and protection in the literature. Here, the focus is on fictional works that are explicitly environmental – where the subject, plot and message centre on one or more environmental issues, such as a particular harm, its cause or causes and possible responses thereto. Finally, this chapter considers ‘allegories of environmental harm,’ examining literature that is less overtly environmental. As an illustration, it suggests an interpretation of the American children's story, Muncus Agruncus: A Bad Little Mouse (Watson, 1976), as a cautionary tale of Western hubris in the face of environmental catastrophe – with the goal of demonstrating how green criminologists have attempted to identify environmental lessons and messages in works with ostensibly other or broader messages. Overall, the intent is to acknowledge both that cultural narratives (and our interpretation of them) change and to demonstrate (the importance of) human agency to transform those narratives (and our interpretation thereof).

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Book part
Publication date: 7 October 2019

Arthur W. Frank's dialogical narrative analysis (DNA) has been a recent addition to the plethora of methods in analysing stories. What makes this method unique from the…

Abstract

Arthur W. Frank's dialogical narrative analysis (DNA) has been a recent addition to the plethora of methods in analysing stories. What makes this method unique from the rest is its concern for both the story's content and its effects. Stories are seen as selection/evaluation systems that do things for and on people. This chapter aims to provide the reader a heuristic guide in conducting DNA and emphasises learning through exemplars as the way of learning DNA. It provides an outline of DNA and reviews how researchers have applied it in different disciplines. Then, DNA will be applied in in the current ‘war on drugs’ in the Philippines. The stories of the policy actors – for and against the drug war – will be analysed to explore how stories affect policy choices and actions, call actors to assume different identities, associate/dissociate these actors and show how they hold their own in telling their stories. Finally, the potential of using DNA in criminology and criminal justice will be discussed.

Details

The Emerald Handbook of Narrative Criminology
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78769-006-6

Keywords

To view the access options for this content please click here
Book part
Publication date: 7 October 2019

With the objective of encouraging the use of standard processes for exploring offenders' narratives two complementary procedures are discussed. One is a development of…

Abstract

With the objective of encouraging the use of standard processes for exploring offenders' narratives two complementary procedures are discussed. One is a development of McAdams explorations with highly effective individuals, describing their life as if it were a book. This is a structured interview protocol that has been specifically produced for use with offenders, in which they describe their life as a film (LAAF). A number of studies with male and female incarcerated individuals as well as those without convictions have revealed important differences between people in how they give a free account of their past and future lives. This allows the differentiation of LAAF narratives and reveals the existence of dominant narrative forms in offenders' responses. These relate to those initially elaborated by Frye (1957) for fiction, namely tragedy, comedy, adventure and romance. The second method is the Narrative Role Questionnaire (NRQ) which elicits the inherent role that offenders saw themselves as playing during specific crimes. Completion of the NRQ by various samples reveals important differences between offences in the narratives that provide the agency for their criminal actions. The roles central to these narratives have also been found to embody distinct emotional components that maintain offending. Taken together the NRQ and the LAAF provide a framework for examining offence narratives which enables the main narratives of relevance to criminality to be identified and their implications for theory and practice to be elaborated.

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