Narrative criminology

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.  

Selected publications

Selected events

2022: Third Narrative Symposium, Genoa

2017: Second Narrative Symposium, Oslo

2014: First Narrative Criminology Symposium, Oslo

2012: Narrative Criminology constitution seminar, Copenhagen


Subscribe to the newsletter (link).

Contact information

Published Apr. 6, 2022 3:26 PM - Last modified Oct. 27, 2022 12:35 PM