A Narrative Based Model of Differentiating Rioters

Dominic Willmott, Maria Ioannou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


The present study applied a narrative analysis upon rioter accounts of their motivations during the August 2011 England riots. To the authors’ knowledge, this piece of research was the first to utilise narrative theory to explore the phenomenon of Rioting. Narrative accounts of twenty rioters were compiled from media, online and published sources. Content analysis of the cases produced a set of 47 variables relating to offenders’ motivations given when describing their criminality. Data were subjected to Smallest Space Analysis (SSA), a non-metric multidimensional scaling procedure and results revealed four distinct themes: the Professional Rioter, the Revengeful Rioter, the Victim Rioter and the Adventurer Rioter in line with previous research conducted on differing crime types (Canter et al, 2003; Youngs and Canter, 2011). The four narrative themes are consistent with motivations identified in previous theories.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)105-124
Number of pages20
JournalThe Howard Journal of Crime and Justice
Issue number1
Early online date1 Feb 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2017


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