A narrative approach to women’s lawbreaking

Fleetwood, J. 2015. A narrative approach to women’s lawbreaking. Feminist Criminology, 10(4), pp. 368-388. ISSN 1557-0851 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

This article argues for the value of narrative criminology for feminist explanations of women’s lawbreaking. Contemporary theories note the significance of material gendered inequalities; however, narrative offers a way to include discursive aspects of gender. Drawing on recent developments in narrative criminology, this article analyzes how women may “talk themselves into” lawbreaking. Analysis draws on interviews with three women with diverse experiences in the drug trade and shows how drug trafficking was narrated as impossible, meaningful, and inevitable. A narrative approach therefore offers ways to understand how for some women, under some circumstances, lawbreaking may become meaningful.

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Identification Number (DOI):



narrative criminology, theory, etiology, gender, women’s lawbreaking

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Sociology > Unit for Global Justice (UGJ)


20 July 2015Published Online
1 October 2015Published

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Date Deposited:

11 Aug 2017 13:48

Last Modified:

22 May 2018 15:50

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.



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