Identity, imprisonment and narrative configuration

Hardie-Bick, James (2018) Identity, imprisonment and narrative configuration. New Criminal Law Review, 21 (4). pp. 567-591. ISSN 1933-4192

[img] PDF - Accepted Version
Download (166kB)


This article addresses the role of self-narratives for coping with the laws of captivity. By focusing on how confinement can disrupt narrative coherence, the intention is to examine the role of self-narratives for interpreting previous events and anticipating future actions. Drawing on a range of interdisciplinary research on self-identity, imprisonment, and offender narratives, this article highlights how narrative reconstruction can alter our desires, commitments, behavior, beliefs, and values. By (re)telling a story about our lives, it is possible to reinterpret existing circumstances and make new connections between our past, present, and future selves. Whereas research suggests the importance of narrative reconstruction for protecting against a sense of meaninglessness, this article shows how self-narratives have the potential to be empowering and divisive. The final part of the article examines how the narratives inmates construct about themselves and others can serve to legitimize violence against other prisoners.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Identity, Imprisonment, Self-narratives, Violence
Schools and Departments: School of Law, Politics and Sociology > Sociology
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology > HV6001 Criminology
Depositing User: James Hardie-Bick
Date Deposited: 16 May 2018 11:36
Last Modified: 21 Jan 2021 15:20

View download statistics for this item

📧 Request an update