Counter-Narratives of Crime and Punishment
In this chapter, we first define counter-narratives as a theoretical construct. We argue that counter-narratives are uniquely distinguished by an illocutionary force intended to challenge background assumptions supporting an intertextually related alternative narrative. However, whether narratives are ‘mastering’ or ‘countering’ is not to be determined on universal grounds, but contingent upon the structure of social, cultural, and political power of interactive and contextual conditions. Next, we detail the narrative practice approach (Bamberg 2020) and exemplify it with an analysis of two opposing closing arguments of a defense lawyer and a district attorney for a murder case. Analyzing the two statements as narratives (small stories) helps us to reveal two alternative positioning strategies-one identifiable as aligning with the master narrative of care, the other of justice (cf. Gilligan 1980). In our concluding section, we make use of these two positioning strategies to demonstrate the power of the master narrative of justice for the construction of a criminal identity, and the problems this poses for counter-narratives that facilitate the social reintegration of offenders and lowering rates of re-offending.
Conflicting Narratives of Crime and Punishment
Bamberg, Michael and Wipff, Zachary, "Counter-Narratives of Crime and Punishment" (2020). Psychology. 141.