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Before and after crime: life-course analyses of young offenders arrested in 19th century northern Sweden
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Population Studies (CPS).
2011 (English)In: Journal of social history, ISSN 0022-4529, E-ISSN 1527-1897, Vol. 44, no 3, 861-888 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article combines sources to expand our view of offenders. Prison records are investigated to identify young people in Sweden who were arrested during the period 1840–1880. Their demographic characteristics and experiences of life before and after crime are acknowledged in parish registers digitized by the Demographic Data Base, Umeå University, that allow for longitudinal life-course perspectives. These perspectives indicate how offenders experienced their lives and how other people viewed them. The findings show that paupers did not dominate among them, and due to their evident local background most offenders had access to parental ties. In providing informal social control such features are believed to limit people’s criminal involvement, but this was not so for these individuals. Event-history analyses distinguish whether a stigma afflicted them upon release, as some labeling themes propose. Examining demographic events such as relocation, marriage, career and death shows that imprisonment had some negative impact on their life courses but was not equal to crisis, except for the more unfortunate thieves and the few female criminals. Whereas limited marital and survival chances characterized them upon release, the pathways suggest that most male offenders established social bonds to the surrounding people and society. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. Vol. 44, no 3, 861-888 p.
Keyword [en]
crime, life course, offenders, nineteenth century, Sweden
National Category
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-42996DOI: 10.1353/jsh.2011.0001ISI: 000288775500009OAI: diva2:410944
Available from: 2011-06-08 Created: 2011-04-15 Last updated: 2015-06-15Bibliographically approved

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Vikström, Lotta
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