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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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PRINTED FROM NYU Press SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.nyu.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of NYU Press Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NYSO for personal use.date: 28 September 2021

The Shifting Narratives of Violent Offenders

The Shifting Narratives of Violent Offenders

(p.207) 8 The Shifting Narratives of Violent Offenders
Narrative Criminology

Fiona Brookman

NYU Press

This chapter demonstrates self-imaging in the creation of narratives, and addresses how narratives shift between different discourses during interviews. It presents the investigation on a suspect named Jermaine, a young black man who had shot and killed a young white man during a robbery in Washington, DC. Through trickery and deceit—which involved lies, plot suggestion, and redirecting the conversation—investigators carefully set the stage for the suspect to confess in detail to the robbery homicide. Despite the gravity of the offense and the potential for this young man to claim self-defense, he appeared to be more concerned about upholding his identity as a tough guy. Nevertheless, he shifted from a narrative of gangsterism—a tough guy—to victimhood when discussing the murder itself.

Keywords:   narratives, gangsterism, victimhood, self-defense, self-imaging, interview

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