To see the fear in their eyes: Poses of violence in biography

Research output: Chapter in Book / Report / Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review


This chapter presents the biography of Jan Hoolwerf. The well-known Chicago School examples The Hobo, The Professional Thief and especially The Jack-Roller set the stage for this kind of academic biography, but over the years there was almost no follow-up. Different from journalism, academia has produced very few biographies on criminals. Life course criminologists have particular interest in the effect of transitions such as work and marriage on criminal behavior and vice versa. Life course criminologists have studied transitions and turning points that can help explain how people become offenders and how they desist from crime. Quantitative studies zoom in on specific elements to be tested that derive from theory and the real person is replaced by a "sort of 'stick figure' of the over-socialized individual or rational actor". A study like this can shed light on the implications that biography may have for academic criminology.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Routledge International Handbook of Life-Course Criminology
EditorsArjan Blokland, Victor van der Geest
Place of PublicationOxon
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9781315747996
ISBN (Print)9781138813663, 9780367581336
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Publication series

NameRoutledge International Handbooks


  • Biography
  • Pose
  • Foreground


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