‘A Good Job and the Love of a Good Woman’: A Feminist Critique of Social Bonds Theory

  • Úna BarrEmail author
Part of the Critical Criminological Perspectives book series (CCRP)


This chapter argues that for women, the end of a relationship can be likely to indicate a ‘turning point’ for desistance, and that there may be a link between desistance and coercive control and other forms of domestic abuse. Additionally, employment is not a panacea for female desistance. The feminisation of poverty is considered, particularly in the context of austerity measures which disproportionately affect women. Yet women are often encouraged into ‘hyper-moral’ (Matthews et al. Exiting Prostitution. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014) roles following criminal justice contact including volunteering, arguably as a result of their status both as transgressors of the law and as women, which is clearly problematic in that these roles are, by their definition, unpaid. This focus on marriage and employment in social bonds theories will be argued here to be negligent of the structural conditions of female desistance.


Social bonds theory Marriage Employment Austerity Patriarchy 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Humanities and Social ScienceLiverpool John Moores UniversityLiverpoolUK

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