Stranger Rape: Rapists, Masculinity and Penal Governance

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University of Toronto Press, Oct 9, 2012 - Social Science - 352 pages

Kevin Denys Bonnycastle’s Stranger Rape is an in-depth study of the lives of fourteen men who raped women unknown to them. Using new data derived from official offender files, offender program observations, and the men’s personal histories, Bonnycastle documents, compares, and contrasts their experiences from boyhood to adulthood and eventual incarceration.

Bonnycastle argues that stranger-rapists do not fit existing portrayals of them as predatory monsters or misogynist everymen. Instead, through an innovative approach that builds on research and theory from feminism, gender studies, critical criminology, and masculinity studies, she positions stranger-rape as a matter of experiences of pain and powerlessness rather than of male power and control. The book’s major achievement is to recognize rapists and rape in their particularity and complexity in the hope that critical thinking about their lives and about their experiences in penal contexts and programs may eventually lead to what one respondent called his ‘road to redemption.’

Please note that this book includes graphic content.


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Foreword by John L McMullan
The Penal Context and
Gendering Relationships
Stranger Rape as
Gendering and Gendered Violence
Challenging Hegernonic Manhood in Prison

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About the author (2012)

Kevin Denys Bonnycastle (1956–2011) was an assistant professor in the Department of Sociology and Criminology at St. Mary’s University.

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