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Moving on from Crime and Substance UseTransforming Identities$
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Anne Robinson and Paula Hamilton

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781447324676

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447324676.001.0001

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Fear and loathing in the community: sexual offenders and desistance in a climate of risk and ‘extreme othering’

Fear and loathing in the community: sexual offenders and desistance in a climate of risk and ‘extreme othering’

Chapter:
(p.153) Seven Fear and loathing in the community: sexual offenders and desistance in a climate of risk and ‘extreme othering’
Source:
Moving on from Crime and Substance Use
Author(s):

Jacky Burrows

Publisher:
Policy Press
DOI:10.1332/policypress/9781447324676.003.0008

This chapter focuses attention on sex offenders who, perhaps more than any other 'type' of offender, have been systematically vilified, demonised, and ostracised from mainstream society. The author argues that, for once, the public, the media, the government, and – worryingly – large numbers of professionals seem to be in agreement that such 'othering' is entirely right and proper in what are seen to be the larger interests of public protection. The author explores the implications of this deeply entrenched culture for ‘would-be desisters’ and suggests ways forward that offer individuals opportunities to uncouple from the ‘master status’ of sex offender and to build positive social networks.

Keywords:   othering, master status, sex offender, desistance, public protection

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