Desistance and Societies in Comparative Perspective

1st Edition

Dana Segev

May 27, 2020 Forthcoming
Reference - 248 Pages
ISBN 9780367253691 - CAT# 307566
Series: International Series on Desistance and Rehabilitation

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Scholarly exploration into how and why people stop offending (desistance from crime) has focused on the impact of internal and external factors in processes of desistance. Prior research has, in general, been undertaken within one nation and neglected the fact that desistance processes are situated within a broad social context which shapes an individual’s perceptions, actions and social conditions. This book begins to fill this gap by exploring how societies and cultures shape desistance processes and experiences.

Desistance and Societies in Comparative Perspective offers findings from a cross-national comparative mixed-method study of desistance processes in England and Israel; two countries with different social-political systems and distinct cultural attributes. The study was the first of its kind in criminology, both in terms of its key objectives and the methods utilised. The findings uncover how social structures and cultures shape individual-level experience. In particular, the findings illustrate how external and internal mechanisms in desistance processes were ‘oriented’ in particular ways, in accordance with contextual factors. The book outlines five contextual factors which were key in shaping the dynamics of desistance across societies and cultures. These are:

  • cultural scripts
  • social climates
  • shared values and norms
  • social interactions and encounters
  • distinct cultural characteristics.

These five factors provide a contextual framework within which to understand the role of cultures and social structures in shaping agency and experiences in processes of desistance, and with which to account for variances and similarities across societies and cultures. Written in a clear and direct style, this book will appeal to students and scholars in criminology, sociology, cultural studies, social theory and those interested in learning about why and how people desist from crime.

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