January 16, 2019

Narrative Criminology: A Third Way With Stories

11:45 to 12:30
Local C-4141
Pavillon Lionel-Groulx (3150, rue Jean-Brillant)

No reservation required

Speaker: Lois Presser


Narrative criminology is a theoretical perspective that highlights the influence of stories on harmful actions and patterns of action.  It directs researchers to plumb stories for the effect they have on harm, rather than for the information they might contain.  In contrast, criminologists have tended to approach the stories offenders tell as either suspect – they are trying to manipulate – or as offering uniquely authentic accounts of marginalized experience.  The narrative criminology position is different: it effectively brackets the accuracy of stories.  A burgeoning international field has evolved from this perspective.  The paper traces the conceptual development of narrative criminology, describes research in narrative criminology to date, and outlines productive and critical areas of future inquiry.  Narrative criminology points to narratives as unusually consequential mechanisms for signifying the world and everything in it.

Biography of the speaker

Lois Presser is Professor of Sociology at the University of Tennessee.  She holds a Ph.D. in Criminal Justice/Criminology (University of Cincinnati) an MBA (Yale University), and a BS in Human Development and Family Studies (Cornell University).  Guided by critical criminology, feminist theory, cultural sociology, and social constructionism, she has published extensively in the areas of narrative, harm, identity, and restorative justice.


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