Narrative Experience of Violent Offending in Greece
Introduction: Violent offenders are a divergent population of offenders. There are various types of violent offending, such as subcultural violent offenders who perceive a righteousness of violence when protecting and maintaining their reputation. There are considerably few studies that relate the causation of crime and violence with emotions and\ud narrative roles. Furthermore, it is documented that narratives are associated with issues that are considered within the realms of personality. Thus, the purpose of this study is to investigate how violent offenders’ narratives, emotions, and their correlates with background and personality can shape their violent actions and to unfold violent offending\ud patterns.\ud Methodology: A total of 50 violent Greek offenders (41 males and 9 females), who were involved in hooligan/extreme political violent acts, with an age range of 18-63 participated in the study. These Greek participants had commit a wide variety of violent offences including robbery, gang fights and grievous bodily harm and were accused by the Greek court to be a part of a criminal organisation; of collective group violence. Participants who agreed to participate in this study were invited to fill a questionnaire that consisted of five sections (Description of Crime, Emotions Questionnaire, Narrative Roles Questionnaire, The Self-Report Offending Questionnaire and the HEXACO personality inventory).\ud Results: Results revealed that emotions could be differentiated into four themes Elations, Calm, Distress and Depression in line with the circumplex structure of emotions postulated by Russell (1997) and narrative roles into Adventurer, Professional, Revenger and Victim. Furthermore, emotions themes and associated narrative roles themes were differentiated into four criminal narrative experience (CNE) themes namely Calm Professional, Elated Hero, Depressed Victim and Distressed Revenger. Interestingly, further analysis showed that Elated Hero was the most dominant theme for the violent offenders in the study contrasting previous findings (Ioannou, 2006). Significant associations between the CNE and background characteristics as well as personality traits were also demonstrated.\ud Implications: The current study makes a significant contribution to knowledge supporting previous relevant studies. It was the first time that a theoretical framework of Criminal Narrative Experience was combined with personality and the first time that this was applied in a Greek population and exclusively with violent offenders that most had been involved in collective violence. The theoretical and practical implications are discussed as well as limitations and suggestions for future studies are described.
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