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Narrative CriminologyUnderstanding Stories of Crime$
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Lois Presser and Sveinung Sandberg

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781479876778

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479876778.001.0001

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The Rapist and the Proper Criminal

The Rapist and the Proper Criminal

The Exclusion of Immoral Others as Narrative Work on the Self

(p.23) 1 The Rapist and the Proper Criminal
Narrative Criminology

Thomas Ugelvik

NYU Press

This chapter shows how narratives about rapists and other sex offenders are used by prisoners to counter their ascribed stigma of immorality, and symbolically reposition themselves as morally conscious proper criminals. These criminals come together and become a community through the exchange of narratives, which consider proper criminals as regular wageworkers—as far as motivational structures and ethics are concerned—and describe rapists and other sex offenders as evil, perverse, sick, and insane monsters that the prisoner society needs to identify and avoid. The narratives exclude sex offenders from most types of regular everyday interaction with proper criminals—a system that cannot be explicitly condoned by prison officers.

Keywords:   rapists, sex offenders, proper criminals, prison officers, morally conscious

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