Becoming Feared: Fashioning and Projecting the Violent Self

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter draws on interviews conducted with male prisoners convicted of serious violent crimes. It examines how the men have experimented with, refined, and perpetrated acts of psychological and physical violence over many years. The chapter illustrates the varying degrees to which each man "embraces" or "owns" the idea of a violent self and/or actively trades on the fear associated with their behaviour. It shows that the projection of the feared or violent self emerges as the counterpoint to the fear and mayhem of their early life-course. The chapter discusses the personal and social costs of keeping the violent self intact, and earmark some of the problems experienced by those attempting to reinvent themselves as non-violent. The overwhelming majority of interviewed survey respondents had served time for violent offences. The phenomenology of becoming violent or feared is very different to how "outsiders" might judge such activity.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Routledge International Handbook on Fear of Crime
EditorsMurray Lee, Gabe Mythen
PublisherRoutledge, Taylor & Francis
Number of pages18
ISBN (Print)9781138120334
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Publication series

NameRoutledge International Handbooks


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