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Artikel

Whose narratives?

The Self as (also) an alien – for a complex concept of ‘Self’ in narrative criminology

Tijdschrift Tijdschrift over Cultuur & Criminaliteit, Aflevering 3 2020
Trefwoorden Self, narrative criminology
Auteurs Professor Alfredo Verde
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    This paper, answering to a recent critique by Ben Laws to the concept of Self developed by narrative criminology, and recognizing its importance, shows that narrative criminology has formulated a complex dynamic definition of it, in addressing both the limit-experiences and the unconscious dimension. Such enlargement can be attained by adding to narrative criminology the contributions of psychosocial criminology, that considers also the emotional dimension of crime narratives and the enjoyment connected to crime: the offender Self, in this perspective, is a multiplex, not completely definable, sometimes alien entity, which can be exposed analysing in depth criminal narratives.


Professor Alfredo Verde
Professor Alfredo Verde is professor of Criminology, Department of Health Sciences (DISSAL), University of Genoa, Italy.
Artikel

Alsof slachtofferschap een verhaal is: de narratieve victimologie en haar grenzen

Tijdschrift Tijdschrift over Cultuur & Criminaliteit, Aflevering 3 2020
Trefwoorden victimology, narrative criminology, cultural criminology, Susan Brison, Hans Vaihinger
Auteurs Prof. dr. Antony Pemberton
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    This article adopts German philosopher Hans Vaihinger’s Philosophy of “as if” as a vehicle to sketch the main features of the emerging research domain of narrative victimology, as well as address some of its limitations. Vaihinger emphasizes the importance of useful untruths, i.e. things we know to be untrue, but nevertheless behave as if they are not, if that strengthens their use as instruments for us to find our way more easily in the world. This applies to our daily lives, but also to our societal institutions and the models and metaphors that underlie our approaches to (social) science. The paper argues that the narrative metaphor of the historical event is often more apt to enhance our understanding of victimological phenomena than that of the mechanism, which is the default metaphor of (social) science. The paper subsequently describes four areas of inquiry of narrative victimology: victimisation’s impact on (life) stories; narratives in the aftermath of victimization; narratives of victim’s experiences with justice processes and the coincidence and juxtaposition of the victims’ narrative with narratives of other significant parties. For all its merits however, the narrative metaphor is also a “useful untruth”, equipped with its own limitations, for instance the difficulty of language in describing first hand experiences of victims and the possibility that narrative structures will be imposed upon victim experiences.


Prof. dr. Antony Pemberton
Prof. dr. Antony Pemberton is hoogleraar herstelrecht aan het Leuven Institute of Criminology, KU Leuven en senior onderzoeker aan het Nederlands Studiecentrum voor Criminaliteit en Rechtshandhaving (NSCR) in Amsterdam. Als onderdeel van die laatste functie is hij tevens gedetacheerd als hoogleraar victimologie aan Tilburg University.
Artikel

Emotions and Explanation in Cultural Criminology

Tijdschrift Tijdschrift over Cultuur & Criminaliteit, Aflevering 1 2018
Trefwoorden cultural criminology, emotions, affective states, explanation, theory
Auteurs dr. Nicolás Trajtenberg
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Cultural Criminology (CC) is one of the most recent and exciting developments in criminological theory. Its main argument is that mainstream criminological theories provide inadequate explanations of crime due to epistemological and theoretical flaws. CC’s alternative involves assuming a phenomenological and interpretative approach that focuses on the cultural and emotional components of crime. In this article I shall argue that although CC makes a valid demand for more realistic and complex explanations of crime, its own alternative needs to deal with two main challenges referred to its conceptualization of explanation and emotion. First, two problematic antagonisms should be avoided: understanding vs. causal explanation; and universal nomothetic explanations as opposed to ideographic descriptions. Considering recent developments in philosophy of social science, particularly the ‘social mechanisms approach’, CC should focus on explaining retrospectively through identification of specific causal mechanisms rejecting universal and predictive pretensions. Second, although cultural criminologists rightly question the emotionless character of criminological explanations, they lack an articulated alternative conceptualization of emotions to explain crime. A more refined concept needs to be elaborated in dialogue with recent advances in social sciences.


dr. Nicolás Trajtenberg
Dr. Nicolás Trajtenberg is senior lecturer and researcher at the Department of Sociology, Universidad de la República (UdelaR), Uruguay. He holds a PhD in criminology by the Institute of Criminology, University of Cambridge, UK. His main areas of research are explanation and theory in criminology, and youth violence. E-mail: nico.trajtenberg@gmail.com.
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Dr. Van Reybrouck, I presume

Over Congo, cultuur en criminaliteit

Tijdschrift Tijdschrift over Cultuur & Criminaliteit, Aflevering 1 2013
Trefwoorden Congo, violence, history, cultural encounters
Auteurs Prof. dr. Pieter Spierenburg
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    This article discusses David van Reybrouck’s history of Congo. The focus is on violence and there is special attention for the period of the Congo Free State, 1885-1908, under king Leopold. A comparison is made between Van Reybrouck’s views and those of Adam Hochchild. It is concluded that the former passes a milder judgment on the actions of Leopold’s troops than the latter, while he also presents a more diversified account. Both authors, however, reject the label of genocide for Leopold’s ‘rubber terror’. The article concludes with some reflections on the concept of genocide, proposing to replace it with organized murder.


Prof. dr. Pieter Spierenburg
Prof. dr. Pieter Spierenburg is hoogleraar historische criminologie aan de Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam. E-mail: spierenburg@eshcc.eur.nl
Artikel

Verpest in het nest

Een casestudie van een criminele familie

Tijdschrift Tijdschrift over Cultuur & Criminaliteit, Aflevering 3 2012
Trefwoorden family ties, fission and fusion, stigmatization, criminal family
Auteurs Borris van der Swaan
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    This article analyses a criminal family. It is not the individual, but the family as a social entity that is central to this approach. The Van D.’s are a family of eleven brothers with a collective history of crime. Raised with anti-authoritarian norms, violence, alcohol and a strong sense of loyalty, they were known as an ‘army of brothers’ dominating the streets of H-town. The criminal family as object of study proves valuable in understanding the influence of contextual factors, subculture, and stigmatization. In the case of the Van D.’s, blood ties create cohesion and conflict at the same time.


Borris van der Swaan
Borris van der Swaan Msc is afgestudeerd als criminoloog aan de Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. E-mail: bvanderswaan@gmail.com.
Artikel

Symmetrie in homicide

Tijdschrift Tijdschrift over Cultuur & Criminaliteit, Aflevering 0 2011
Trefwoorden social rank, honour, conflict, close social bonds, small communities
Auteurs Anton Blok
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    An analysis of about 2,200 cases of homicides in the Netherlands committed between 1992 and 2006 shows that lethal violence typically results from conflict in symmetric relations in which social rank is ambiguous. The settings of homicides are mostly well-integrated, small communities, including families, rural villages in tribal and agrarian societies, modern urban neighbourhoods, gettos, criminal organisations, and ethnic enclaves. The mechanism that drives antagonism between people in such places is their attachment, close-knit structure, and common features. Earlier, Simmel developed this insight in lethal conflict when saying ‘the more we have in common with another as whole persons, the more easily will our totality be involved in every single relationship to that person, hence the disproportionate violence to which normally well-controlled people can be moved within their relations to those closest to them.’ Contemporary sociologists, ethnographers, and historians amply corroborated this view of lethal violence. In his comparative work Gould shows a compelling connection between ambiguity of social rank and lethal conflict. Knauft investigated the high homicide rates in a New Guinea community and found that lethal violence resulting from sorcery attributions is not the anti-thesis of the ideal of ‘good company’ but its ultimate culmination.


Anton Blok
Prof. dr. Anton Blok is emeritus hoogleraar Culturele antropologie aan de Universiteit van Amsterdam. E-mail: anton.blok@xs4all.nl.
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