Narrative Theory Applied to the Autobiographies of Three Life-Course Offenders

Hockey, D. (2016) Narrative Theory Applied to the Autobiographies of Three Life-Course Offenders. SAGE Open, 6 (3). ISSN 21582440 (ISSN)

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Abstract

The written autobiographical accounts of three life-course offenders, which were published following extended life-course offending, were analyzed using a theory-led thematic analysis. The protagonists were each responsible for a broad range of acquisitive and violent crimes, although different offense types are often studied as separate entities. The utility of narrative theory was explored as a life-course theory by contrasting its framework with these disparate areas of inquiry, along the developmental trajectory of the protagonist's account. Findings showed that onset began with trait-driven and versatile offending, which progressed toward specialization, incorporating modus operandi and rational choice making. Specialization was underpinned by themes of violence and control. The concluding themes dealt with the process of desistance, which was facilitated by a series of cognitive shifts, allowing these offenders to retain a core element of the "self." Results further showed that narrative-identity played an influential role in the development of specialization and eventual desistance, but less so with onset. Narrative theory has the potential to aid understanding of the criminal life-course trajectory, which in turn can assist in both detection and rehabilitation processes. © 2016, © The Author(s) 2016.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: criminal careers, life-course offenders, narrative theory, versatile offenders
Subjects: C800 Psychology
L300 Sociology
L500 Social Work
Divisions: Faculty of Business, Law and Social Sciences > School of Social Sciences > Dept. Criminology and Sociology
UoA Collections > UoA22: Social Work and Social Policy
Depositing User: Miss Jessica Baylis
Date Deposited: 14 Feb 2017 15:38
Last Modified: 13 Apr 2017 15:07
URI: http://www.open-access.bcu.ac.uk/id/eprint/3444

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