Psychosocial criminology: Making sense of senseless violence

David Gadd, Mary Louise Carr

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


This chapter begins with a quote from the relational psychoanalyst Thomas Ogden, who notes that it takes at least two people in dialogue—in the psychoanalytic context, therapist and client—to bring a dangerous thought to a point in consciousness where it can be articulated. It illustrates the point through the analysis of a single case study that can be read—if one is prepared to accept that it is a motivated account—both discursively and psychodynamically. The interviews focused on exploring how young men have come to understand violence through the examples they recalled and described. They also focused on young men's feelings toward their own parents and partners; the contingencies that make them feel sad, angry, defensive, and fearful; and their expectations about relationships with partners and children. The collation and production of complex qualitative data about offenders and offending has been critical to this work, though this has been less well discussed outside of psychosocial studies.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationQualitative Research in Criminology
Subtitle of host publicationAdvances in Criminological Theory
EditorsJody Miller, Wilson R Palacios
Place of PublicationPiscataway, New Jersey
PublisherTaylor & Francis
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9781351495257
ISBN (Print)9781412856775
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017


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