Sticks and Stones Will Break My Bones but Names May Never Not Hurt Me: Exploring Emotions and Self-Stigma in Living with a Criminal Record

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Harvey, Alan Lee




In Canada, criminal records are a structural form of self-stigma, in that society's presumptions and negative stereotypes become internalized within those who have been labelled unworthy by their criminalization. The trend to politicize the risk of all people who have had a past interaction with the criminal justice system as dangerous has, with the help of various surveillance techniques, fostered a culture of control that limits people who have a criminal record from full integration into society. This thesis explores how people feel about living with a criminal record and the degree to which they experience self-stigma as a result. Through in-person interviews it found that men with criminal records experience feelings of fear, shame, alienation, sadness, and anger, and to some degree their agency and ability to integrate into society is limited as a criminalized person in Canadian society.






Carleton University

Thesis Degree Name: 

Master of Arts: 

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Thesis Degree Discipline: 

Legal Studies

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Theses and Dissertations

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