Narrative criminology is a theoretical and methodological framework for the study of stories in criminology. We are interested in how collective and personal narratives instigate, sustain and effect desistance from harmful action.
Narrative criminology aims to explain crime and other harm as a function of stories that people tell about themselves in the world, as individuals and as groups. Narratives are understood to be essential for people’s sense-making about their own lives. Narrative criminology is an approach based on the idea that stories are interesting as data in their own right. For, whether true or false, the stories people tell reflect values, identities, cultures and communities, and therefore help us understand all of these. The focus of narrative criminology is on understanding the nature of specific narratives surrounding actions that do or undo harm and their social consequences.
With narrative criminology, the aim is to inspire and gather researchers – criminologists and others – interested in the role of stories and language for crime and harm. We hope to stimulate novel theoretical perspectives and original empirical analyses. Multidisciplinary cooperation is important; we bring together perspectives from the disciplines of criminology, sociology, anthropology, psychology, linguistics, political science, history and law in a true exchange across national and disciplinary boundaries.
Areas of interest
Phenomena of interest include, but are not limited to, all forms of violence, legal and illegal drug use, punishment, indifference toward suffering, white-collar crime, environmental degradation, various drug wars, other wars, state surveillance, the development of law, and whatever is defined as crime or understood as deviance in societies across the globe.
- Good Stories. Telling against trouble, 2023 (forthcoming book)
- Narrative analysis in criminology, 2022
- Narrative criminology and ethnography, 2021
2012: Narrative Criminology constitution seminar, Copenhagen