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Stories across borders : how female ex-offenders make sense of their journey through crime and criminal justice in Sweden and England.

Osterman, Linnéa A. (2016) Stories across borders : how female ex-offenders make sense of their journey through crime and criminal justice in Sweden and England. Doctoral thesis, University of Surrey.

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Abstract

This thesis contributes to the internationalisation of criminological knowledge about gender and crime through a cross-national analysis of female ex-offenders' qualitative experiences of crime and criminal justice in two European countries; Sweden and England. Grounded in a feminist methodological framework, the study draws on 24 life-story narrative interviews with 12 repeat female offenders in Sweden and 12 in England, who, at the time of the interview, self-identified as desisters. Three major phases of the female journey through crime and criminal justice are represented in the study, namely; the female pathway into crime, the female experience of criminal justice and lastly, the female route out of crime. Some cross-national symmetry is detected across the samples, particularly in the areas of female experiences of gendered victimisation and issues around short custodial sentences. Overall; however, the findings demonstrate that diverse macro-processes and models, especially in terms of 'inclusive' versus 'exclusive' penal cultures, effectually 'trickle down' and produce distinctly different female micro-experiences of crime and criminal justice in Sweden and England. Providing new qualitative evidence of the 'Nordic Exceptionalism thesis’, the findings indicate that, comparatively, the Swedish model offers a macro-context, supported and reflected in allied meso-practices, which is more conducive to the formation of lasting female routes out of crime and into active participation in 'mainstream' society. The principal qualitative mechanisms that underpin this argument, identified as distinctive to the Swedish model through the cross-national thematic analysis, include: (1) a more robust infrastructure supporting individual change, exemplified in high-quality drugs and alcohol provisions; (2) lived experiences of legitimacy and trust in criminal justice interactions, encouraging less conflictual relations between the individual and authorities; (3) the impact of normalisation ideals and practices within criminal justice processes, ultimately enabling a smoother transition out from the system, and lastly; (4) subjective experiences of more accessible and attractive routes into participation and inclusion, including structured and holistic investments in quality employment support.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Divisions : Theses
Authors :
AuthorsEmailORCID
Osterman, Linnéa A.li_osterman@hotmail.comUNSPECIFIED
Date : 29 January 2016
Funders : ESRC
Contributors :
ContributionNameEmailORCID
Thesis supervisorBullock, K.A.K.Bullock@surrey.ac.ukUNSPECIFIED
Thesis supervisorArber, S.s.arber@surrey.ac.ukUNSPECIFIED
Uncontrolled Keywords : Women - Crime - Criminal Justice - Sweden - England
Depositing User : Linnea Osterman
Date Deposited : 09 Feb 2016 10:54
Last Modified : 09 Feb 2016 10:54
URI: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/id/eprint/809728

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