Article

Rejecting and retaining aspects of selfhood: Constructing desistance from abuse as a 'masculine' endeavour

Details

Citation

Morran D (2022) Rejecting and retaining aspects of selfhood: Constructing desistance from abuse as a 'masculine' endeavour. Criminology and Criminal Justice. https://doi.org/10.1177/17488958211070365

Abstract
Evaluative studies of men who have attended domestic violence perpetrator programmes have, thus far, paid attention to the question of what they are expected to desist from. This is entirely appropriate. However, the question of what they are expected to achieve, or ‘become’, is less clearly articulated, indeed often overlooked. Based on a series of interviews with men who had completed perpetrator programmes, the narratives explored in this articles suggest that their abusive behaviour was underpinned by fears about how to ‘perform masculinity’ satisfactorily in the past. Consequentially, the programme experience was perceived as threatening or as ‘feminising’. However, the accounts of these men suggest that in desisting from abusive behaviour, issues of identity and processes of behaviour change remain profoundly gendered. Indeed, committing to desistance is perceived as something of an ‘heroic struggle’ in which qualities associated with being a ‘proper man’ are harnessed and utilised in the process.

Keywords
Desistance; gender identities; masculinities; perpetrator programmes

Notes
Output Status: Forthcoming/Available Online

Journal
Criminology and Criminal Justice

StatusIn Press
Publication date online31/01/2022
Date accepted by journal19/11/2021
URLhttp://hdl.handle.net/1893/33917
ISSN1748-8958
eISSN1748-8966