Men, society and crime : an exploration of maleness and offending behaviour
This thesis is the culmination of years of wondering why we ask people to 'be' certain things. One of the first things you notice about people is their keenness to be able to categorise things, so quickly human beings become men and women, criminal or non-criminal, healthy or sick. To deal with the world around us we reduce the infinite to a schema and then judge the infinite within that schema. We often forget that that 'the way things are' are not necessarily normal or natural. We come to expect men and women to act, behave and feel in certain ways rarely questioning the necessity of these expectations or the possible damage such expectations may create for the individuals required to 'fit' them. Studies of 'female' criminality and imprisonment highlighted the effects that socialisation into appropriate female gender roles has on the lives of women. If one starts from the premise that there are no major inherent differences between men and women, that is you view them as people first, this finding raises the question what impact does the socialisation of men into appropriate male gender roles have on men? This thesis attempts to explore the impact of socialisation of men into appropriate gender roles and what role, if any, their involvement in crime might play in men's attempts to 'be men'.