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Reflections after ‘Socrates light’ : eliciting and countering narratives of youth justice officials

Olga Petintseva (UGent)
Author
Organization
Abstract
My research discussed how stories of crime inform the practice of youth justice. This study was based on court case files and interviews with professional actors, concentrating on how they ‘theorise’ the causes of crime (of migrant youth in particular) and which interventions they deem appropriate. In this chapter, I posit that theoretical foundations of narrative criminology are relevant for researchers working in institutional settings (e.g. criminal justice). Yet, this implies a lesser centrality of self-narratives – a trademark of narrative criminologists. Professional actors tell stories about others (their ‘clientele’) and these narratives legitimise decision making (often, penal harm) and the ways in which officials narrate their own role. The questions raised in this chapter primarily concern methodological implications of taking a step back from the self-narrative. Specifically, I propose one possible model of interviewing that complements classical open interviewing. This ‘light’ form of Socratic dialogues draws on two bodies of methodological literature. On the one hand, I integrate some principles from active interview styles (often used in ‘researching up’). On the other hand, feminist research interviews offer important insights on how to counterbalance the confronting aspects of ‘active’ interviewing. I outline why and how I gradually attempted to move the narrator from doxa to episteme, pressing for examples and contradictions. The chapter reflects on some of research interactions and discusses the relevance of this mode of interviewing. Three points will be made in this regard: first, becoming more active as researcher during the interview can enhance the analysis. Second, narrative studies can potentially be transformative if the researcher becomes visible as an active questioner. Third, the narrative negotiation between interviewers and interviewees is interesting from an epistemological viewpoint: documenting the shifts in interview context helps us to reflect on the changing narrative performance of those involved in research.

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MLA
Petintseva, Olga. “Reflections After ‘Socrates Light’ : Eliciting and Countering Narratives of Youth Justice Officials.” Emerald Handbook of Narrative Criminology. Ed. Jennifer Fleetwood et al. London: Emerald, 2019. 87–108. Print.
APA
Petintseva, O. (2019). Reflections after “Socrates light” : eliciting and countering narratives of youth justice officials. In J. Fleetwood, L. Presser, S. Sandberg, & T. Ugelvik (Eds.), Emerald handbook of narrative criminology (pp. 87–108). London: Emerald.
Chicago author-date
Petintseva, Olga. 2019. “Reflections After ‘Socrates Light’ : Eliciting and Countering Narratives of Youth Justice Officials.” In Emerald Handbook of Narrative Criminology, ed. Jennifer Fleetwood, Lois Presser, Sveinung Sandberg, and Thomas Ugelvik, 87–108. London: Emerald.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Petintseva, Olga. 2019. “Reflections After ‘Socrates Light’ : Eliciting and Countering Narratives of Youth Justice Officials.” In Emerald Handbook of Narrative Criminology, ed. Jennifer Fleetwood, Lois Presser, Sveinung Sandberg, and Thomas Ugelvik, 87–108. London: Emerald.
Vancouver
1.
Petintseva O. Reflections after “Socrates light” : eliciting and countering narratives of youth justice officials. In: Fleetwood J, Presser L, Sandberg S, Ugelvik T, editors. Emerald handbook of narrative criminology. London: Emerald; 2019. p. 87–108.
IEEE
[1]
O. Petintseva, “Reflections after ’Socrates light’ : eliciting and countering narratives of youth justice officials,” in Emerald handbook of narrative criminology, J. Fleetwood, L. Presser, S. Sandberg, and T. Ugelvik, Eds. London: Emerald, 2019, pp. 87–108.
@incollection{8625428,
  abstract     = {My research discussed how stories of crime inform the practice of youth justice. This study was based on court case files and interviews with professional actors, concentrating on how they ‘theorise’ the causes of crime (of migrant youth in particular) and which interventions they deem appropriate. 
In this chapter, I posit that theoretical foundations of narrative criminology are relevant for researchers working in institutional settings (e.g. criminal justice). Yet, this implies a lesser centrality of self-narratives – a trademark of narrative criminologists. Professional actors tell stories about others (their ‘clientele’) and these narratives legitimise decision making (often, penal harm) and the ways in which officials narrate their own role. 
The questions raised in this chapter primarily concern methodological implications of taking a step back from the self-narrative. Specifically, I propose one possible model of interviewing that complements classical open interviewing. This ‘light’ form of Socratic dialogues draws on two bodies of methodological literature. On the one hand, I integrate some principles from active interview styles (often used in ‘researching up’). On the other hand, feminist research interviews offer important insights on how to counterbalance the confronting aspects of ‘active’ interviewing. 
I outline why and how I gradually attempted to move the narrator from doxa to episteme, pressing for examples and contradictions. The chapter reflects on some of research interactions and discusses the relevance of this mode of interviewing. Three points will be made in this regard: first, becoming more active as researcher during the interview can enhance the analysis. Second, narrative studies can potentially be transformative if the researcher becomes visible as an active questioner. Third, the narrative negotiation between interviewers and interviewees is interesting from an epistemological viewpoint: documenting the shifts in interview context helps us to reflect on the changing narrative performance of those involved in research. 
},
  author       = {Petintseva, Olga},
  booktitle    = {Emerald handbook of narrative criminology},
  editor       = {Fleetwood, Jennifer and Presser, Lois and Sandberg, Sveinung and Ugelvik, Thomas},
  isbn         = {9781787690066},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {87--108},
  publisher    = {Emerald},
  series       = {Emerald Handbooks in Criminology},
  title        = {Reflections after ‘Socrates light’ : eliciting and countering narratives of youth justice officials},
  year         = {2019},
}