What is the Story?
This introductory chapter defines narrative criminology and describes the role of narrative criminologists. Narrative criminology is any inquiry based on the view of stories as instigating, sustaining, or effecting desistance from harmful action. Narrative criminologists consider these narrative texts as foundational objects of inquiry for “a useful corrective to the reductive tendencies that other analyses, rooted in individual disciplines, can manifest.” They make ample use of offenders’ narratives as vehicles for data on the factors that promote criminal behavior. In particular, they study the role of metaphors, nodal points, symbolic boundary drawing, and floating signifiers to define excusable harm and blameworthy victim.
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