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A Narrative Approach to Women’s Lawbreaking

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journal contribution
posted on 22.07.2015, 16:47 by Jennifer Fleetwood
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.


This paper is based on interview data on two separate projects. The first ‘women in the international cocaine trade’ was supported by an ESRC studentship (PTA-030-2004-00460). The second, ‘women in the crack cocaine trade’ was supported by a British Academy Small Grant (SG111247)



Feminist Criminology July 2, 2015 1557085115591998

Author affiliation

/Organisation/COLLEGE OF SOCIAL SCIENCE/Department of Criminology


AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Published in

Feminist Criminology July 2


SAGE Publications (UK and US) for American Society of Criminology, Division on Women and Crime

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Available date