Searching for the self
DOI link for Searching for the self
Searching for the self book
The previous chapter established the importance of attending to the subjective aspects of desistance and resettlement to account for change amongst white-collar offenders. This chapter outlines a means of investigating this lived reality of attempts to desist from crime and resettle in the wake of conviction and punishment by presenting work drawn from existential philosophy and the accompanying sociology that this has inspired. The chapter starts with a summary of the literature that has considered existentialism as a school of thought. This is followed by a focus on existential sociology, which draws upon existentialist tenets to provide a means of considering human behaviour, making salient a focus upon emotions and the search for a meaningful self. A number of studies that have identified processes that have some concordance with existential sociology’s tenets will be used to illustrate the efficacy of this approach for studying offenders’ behaviour. Of particular relevance for a consideration of behaviour and behaviour change is the role of shame and so the chapter concludes by suggesting how shame may be related to desistance from crime.