The internal narrative of desistance

  • Vaughan B
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Abstract

Recent desistance research has emphasized the importance of shifts in offenders’ identities to explain cessation from crime. Explanatory weight is given to how the agent reflects and acts upon relevant social circumstances rather than seeing desistance as the product of greater control exerted by the obligations of new roles. This kind of self-reflexivity is achieved through an internal moral conversation that is often couched in terms of agents’ ultimate concerns and their relationship with others. In so doing, desisters fashion a narrative identity, which acknowledges yet disclaims past actions and commits them to an ideal future self.

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Authors

  • Barry Vaughan

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