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Narratives of Desistance: A Social Cognitive Approach
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
2011 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

In this thesis I have investigated the process of self-schematic transformation that has been argued that offenders undergo in order to desist from crime. In this thesis I have used narrative interviews with twelve desisting offenders consisting of five non-violent offenders and seven violent offenders. I have analysed these narratives using a social cognitive perspective in order to seek an understanding of the self-schemas of the offenders.

The results show that the desistance is the result of a longer process and the turning point experienced by the participants were the high point of this process. Social influences were highly important for both groups. Both groups were low in agency, with the exception to their new selves and the desisting process; still, the violent offenders were somewhat higher than the non-violent offenders. In general both groups used outside sources to explain their past crimes and substance abuse, though the violent offenders did this in less extent. Further, the analysis showed that the self-schema of the desisting offenders could be divided into three parts; the former self, the true self, and the new self, or who they used to be, who they have always been, and who they are now. The degree to which the offenders expressed these different selves varied between the two groups. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
Criminal careers Desistance Social Cognition Narratives Self Identity
National Category
Social Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-58196OAI: diva2:419875
Social and Behavioural Science, Law
Available from: 2011-09-29 Created: 2011-05-30 Last updated: 2013-05-03Bibliographically approved

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Berglund, Johannes
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