Underdogs, rebels, and heroes

Crime narratives as a resource for doing masculinity in autobiographies

  • Monica Skrinjar
  • Tove Pettersson Kriminologiska institutionen, Stockholms universitet


This article shows how autobiographies of famous, socially well-established men (re)produce hegemonic masculinity through narratives of offending; how masculine performance is age graded; and that masculinity constructions are accomplished both via what is said and what is not said. The autobiographies of the footballer Zlatan Ibrahimović, the former high jumper Patrik Sjöberg and Sweden’s most famous criminologist, Professor Leif G.W. Persson, are analysed. Common to all three is that they openly describe a variety of crimes they have committed. These three men are highly respected in Sweden and none of them is considered as “a criminal” in general opinion. This article shows that crime can be a resource for doing masculinity even for famous, successful and highly respected men. The crime narratives in these autobiographies tell us something about the culturally accepted representations of masculinity that may not just pass as possible, but even as desirable.

Referera så här
Skrinjar, M. och Pettersson, T. (2020) ”Underdogs, rebels, and heroes: Crime narratives as a resource for doing masculinity in autobiographies”, Sociologisk Forskning, 57(3–4), s. 289–311. doi: 10.37062/sf.57.20241.