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Criminology is foundationally an applied discipline, or one whose knowledge seeks to shape some non-academic practice. Narratives – particularly the narratives of parties to ‘crime’ – are essential to criminology, but criminologists have hardly engaged with narratology. This paper tracks the progression from traditional narrative research involving harm agents and criminalized persons to a relatively new narrative criminology that is attentive to narrative forms and strategies inasmuch as it considers these as shaping harm. In addition, the paper forecasts narrative criminology’s fruitful engagement in concepts from rhetorical narratology. Interviews with men who perpetrated violence and insights from restorative justice encounters are used to demonstrate the potential value of rhetorical narratological concepts to narrative criminology and to interventions informed by narrative criminology.


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