Advertisement

Gender and Crime in the Life Pathways of Young Women Offenders: Contrasting the Narratives of Girls and Professionals

  • Raquel Matos
Chapter

Abstract

This chapter focuses on gender and crime in the life pathways of young women offenders through the analysis of the narratives of both young women serving prison sentences and professionals who deal with young offenders. In terms of theoretical framework, it is based on the feminist approaches that criticize, deconstruct and propose to rebuild the way women offenders have long been conceptualized in criminological theories. The two empirical studies hereby presented were developed in Portugal. In the first, 12 young women prisoners (16–22 years old) were interviewed. In the second study, 43 professionals who deal with youth delinquency on a daily basis were asked about their global perspectives on “youth delinquent groups” and their specific arguments about the involvement of girls in such groups. Various understandings of crime emerged from the young women’s narratives about their life pathways, supporting the rejection of the traditional concepts of female juvenile delinquency. Such findings contrast with the gender stereotypes and ambivalence that seem to characterize the professionals’ perspectives on female delinquency. Our findings emphasize the advantages of assuming a gender perspective and of contrasting different narratives on young women’s delinquent behaviour.

Keywords

Gender Young women offenders Pathways Identity 

References

  1. Batchelor, S. (2005a). ‘Prove Me the Bam!’ Victimisation and agency in the lives of young women who commit violent offences. Probation Journal, 52(4), 358–375.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Batchelor, S. (2005b, July). ‘Fer the Buzz o’ It?’. The excitement and emotionality of young women’s violence. Paper presented at annual conference of British Society of Criminology, Leeds.Google Scholar
  3. Campbell, A. (1992). Girls in the gangs. Cambridge: Blackwell Publishers.Google Scholar
  4. Carlen, P. (1983). Women’s imprisonment. A study in social control. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul.Google Scholar
  5. Carlen, P. (1987). Out of care, into custody: Dimensions and deconstructions of the state’s regulation of twenty-two young working-class women. In P. Carlen & A. Worrall (Eds.), Gender, crime and justice (pp. 126–160). Buckingham: Open University Press.Google Scholar
  6. Carlen, P. (1988). Women, crime and poverty. Milton Keynes: Open University Press.Google Scholar
  7. Cruise, R. (2016). Enough with the stereotypes: Representations of women in terrorist organizations. Social Science Quarterly, 97(1), 33–43.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Cunha, M. I. (1994). The fabric of confinement. Identity and sociality in a women’s prison (Vol. 1). Lisbon: CEJ.Google Scholar
  9. Cunha, M. I. (2002). The prison and the neighborhood. Traffincking and trajectories (Vol. 1). Lisbon: Fim de Século.Google Scholar
  10. Daly, K. (1994). Gender, crime and punishment. New Haven: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  11. Duarte, V. (2012). Discursos e Percursos na Delinquência Juvenil Feminina. Famalicão: Editora Húmus.Google Scholar
  12. Gelsthorpe, L. (1997). Feminism and criminology. In M. Maguire, R. Morgan, & R. Reiner (Eds.), The Oxford handbook of criminology (pp. 511–534). Oxford: Clarendon Press.Google Scholar
  13. Granja, R. (2016). Beyond prison walls. Probation Journal, 63(3), 273–292.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Katz, J. (1988/1996). Seductions and repulsions of crime. In J. Muncie, E. McLaughlin, & M. Langlan (Eds.), Criminological perspectives. A reader (pp. 145–159). London: Sage.Google Scholar
  15. Laidler, J., & Hunt, G. (2001). Accomplishing femininity among the girls in the gang. British Journal of Criminology, 41(4), 656–678.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Matos, R. (2008). Vidas Raras de Mulheres Comuns: Percursos de vida, Significações do crime e Construção da identidade em jovens reclusas. Coimbra: Editora Almedina.Google Scholar
  17. Matos, R., & Machado, C. (2012). Criminalidade feminina e Construção do género. Emergência e consolidação das perspectivas feministas na Criminologia. Análise Psicológica, XXX(1–2), 33–47.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Matos, R., Almeida, T., & Vieira, A. (2014). Questões de Género em Gangues juvenis em Portugal. Perspetivas de atores que intervêm no fenómeno. In V. Duarte & M. Cunha (Coords.), Violências e Delinquências juvenis femininas: género e (in)visibilidades sociais (pp. 115–140). Famalicão: Editora Húmus.Google Scholar
  19. Miller, J. (2001). One of the guys. Girls, gangs and gender. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  20. Pollak, O. (1950). The criminality of women. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.Google Scholar
  21. Rafter, N., & Heidensohn, F. (1995). International feminist perspectives in criminology. Engendering a discipline. Buckingham: Open University Press.Google Scholar
  22. Shoemaker, D. (2010). Theories of delinquency. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  23. Smart, C. (1990/1996). Feminist approaches to criminology or postmodern woman meets atavistic man. In J. Muncie, E. McLaughlin, & M. Langlan (Eds.), Criminological perspectives. A reader (pp. 453–465). London: Sage.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Raquel Matos
    • 1
  1. 1.Universidade Católica Portuguesa, CEDHOportoPortugal

Personalised recommendations