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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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Extending the ‘desistance and recovery debates’: thoughts on identity

Extending the ‘desistance and recovery debates’: thoughts on identity

(p.9) One Extending the ‘desistance and recovery debates’: thoughts on identity
Moving on from Crime and Substance Use

Paula Hamilton

Policy Press

This chapter introduces ideas of identity and identity transformation in processes of personal change. The author starts by exploring what is meant by identity, and analyses the two theoretical frameworks most commonly employed by the writers in this collection – narrative theory and social identity theory. She then draws on concepts such as Goffman’s (1963) ‘spoiled identity’ and Braithwaite’s (1989) ‘master status’ to consider ways in which involvement in offending, substance misuse and other ‘problematic’ behaviours and lifestyles can be implicated in an individual’s sense of self and, of course, the views that others take of such individuals. She highlights key implications in terms of stigma, discrimination and cumulative disadvantage and how these processes can represent obstacles to change.

Keywords:   identity, identity transformation, ‘spoiled identity’, stigma, discrimination

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