Murderers’ Relatives: Managing Stigma, Negotiating Identity

By Hazel May / Journal of Contemporary Ethnography, on 1 January 2000

Drawing on in-depth interviews with the relatives of convicted murderers, this article interrogates the concept of stigma through an everyday notion of familial toxicity and commonsense understandings of murder. Identifying moments of stigmatizing strain, the article examines moments of opportunity for managing stigma through three metatactics: management of space, information, and self-presentation. However, due to the problems in carrying out sensitive research with a hidden population, there are limits to how far arguments made can be generalized. Therefore, the article concludes by raising questions for future research.

  • Document type Article
  • Countries list United States
  • Themes list Murder Victims' Families,