Formerly incarcerated women’s online accounts of pathways to criminality and incarceration: a contribution to feminist pathways theory
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Some feminist scholars argue that pathways research is not truly representative of girls’ and women’s pathways to crime. This paper uses the gendered pathways theory that recognizes and highlights some of the unique factors that can influence women's pathways into crime. Pathways theory has been criticized because it does not recognize the interconnectedness of risk factors (e.g., substance abuse, familial relationships, and mental health struggles), and two being that the research focuses on only a select few risk factors. This study uses narrative criminology to present women’s stories to understand their pathways to criminality in their own voices. Using first-person accounts from the blog, My Story in a Women’s Prison, female offenders’ own perspectives and perceptions of their pathway to criminality and incarceration were analyzed. This paper concludes that women’s own voices online can highlight how they perceive their risk factors, providing legitimacy to the gendered pathways theory.