Jennifer Fleetwood

Staff details

Position Senior Lecturer
Department Sociology
Email j.fleetwood (
Jennifer Fleetwood

Jennifer is a criminologist and sociologist whose research and writing centres on women, gender, and crime/law-breaking. She has used an array of research methods, including ethnography and interviews to understand women’s involvement in drug trafficking as mules and as street level drug dealers.

Jennifer joined Goldsmiths in June 2017. Before that she worked at the University of Leicester and the University of Kent. Her PhD, completed her PhD at the University of Edinburgh is now available as a book titled Drug Mules: Women in the international cocaine trade (winner of the British Society of Criminology Book prize, 2015).

She is an active member of the British Society of Criminology and is a member of the Women’s Network Steering Group, and the Ethics sub-committee. She also co-chairs the British Society of Criminology Southern Branch.


Jennifer convenes the BA Criminology and the BA Criminology and Sociology and teaches on core criminology modules. She convenes an optional module on Globalisation, Crime and Justice.

Areas of supervision

Jennifer is keen to supervise PhD students interested in narrative, cultural or feminist criminologies, and especially any projects employing ethnographic or qualitative approaches.

Completed PhD students

  • Camille Stengel, An ethnographic, photo-participatory exploration of a harm reduction centre in Hungary. University Of Kent, 2015.
  • Nayeli Urquiza Haas, Gender and vulnerability: Drug mules and the problem of subjectivity and ambiguity in criminal law. University of Kent, 2014.
  • Ruth Sheldon. Ordinary Ethics and Democratic Life: Palestine-Israel in British Universities. University of Kent, 2013.

Research Interests

Jennifer’s research interests include women’s involvement in crime, especially in relation to globalisation. In the past she has researched women’s involvement in the drug trade, and at present she is interested in women’s self-defence violence. Jennifer’s research and writing contributes to narrative criminology.

Publications and research outputs


Fleetwood, J. 2014. Drug Mules: Women in the international cocaine trade. Basingstoke: Palgrave MacMillan. ISBN 9781137271891

Edited Book

Fleetwood, J; Presser, Lois; Sandberg, Sveinung and Ugelvik, Thomas, eds. 2019. The Emerald Handbook of Narrative Criminology. Bingley: Emerald Publishing Limited. ISBN 9781787690066

Edited Journal

Fleetwood, Jennifer, ed. 2017. Drug Mules: International advances in research and policy, The Howard Journal of Crime and Justice, 56(3). 2059-1098

Fleetwood, Jennifer and Potter, Gary R., eds. 2017. Ethnographic research on crime and control, Methodological Innovations., . 2059-7991

Book Section

Fleetwood, Jennifer and Sandberg, Sveinung. 2022. Narrative Criminology and Ethnography. In: Sandra M. Bucerius; Kevin D. Haggerty and Luca Berardi, eds. The Oxford Handbook of Ethnographies of Crime and Criminal Justice. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 246-268. ISBN 9780190904500

Fleetwood, J and Turner, J. 2017. The backpacker’s guide to the prison: penal tourism in Latin America. In: J. Z Wilson; S Hodgkinson; P Piché and K Walby, eds. The Palgrave Handbook of Prison Tourism. Basingstoke: Palgrave MacMillan, pp. 887-908. ISBN 978-1-137-56134-3

Fleetwood, J. 2015. In search of respectability: narrative practice in a women’s prison in Quito, Ecuador. In: L Presser and S Sandberg, eds. Narrative Criminology: Understanding Stories of Crime. New York: New York University Press, pp. 42-68. ISBN 9781479823413

Fleetwood, J and Torres, A. 2011. Mothers and Children of the International Drug War. In: D Barrett, ed. Children of the Drug War. London: idebate, pp. 127-141. ISBN 78-1-61770-018-7


Fleetwood, J and Lea, John. 2023. Not if – but how – to defund the police: Response to our critics. The Howard Journal of Crime and Justice, ISSN 2059-1101

Fleetwood, Jennifer and Leban, Lindsay. 2023. Women’s Involvement in the Drug Trade: Revisiting the Emancipation Thesis in Global Perspective. Deviant Behavior, 44(2), pp. 238-258. ISSN 0163-9625

Kindynis, Theo and Fleetwood, Jennifer. 2022. Information security for criminological ethnographers. Crime, Media, Culture, ISSN 1741-6590

Fleetwood, J and Lea, John. 2022. Defunding the police in the UK: Critical questions and practical suggestions. The Howard Journal of Crime and Justice, 61(2), pp. 167-184. ISSN 2059-1098

Fleetwood, J; Lea, John; Bromberg, Svenja and Kindynis, T. 2020. Coronavirus and changing conditions for crime. Discover Society,

Mills, Michael F and Fleetwood, Jennifer. 2020. Prepping and verstehen: A narrative criminological perspective. Tijdschrift over Cultuur & Criminaliteit, 9(3), pp. 30-47. ISSN 2211-9507

Fleetwood, Jennifer; Aldridge, Judith and Chatwin, Caroline. 2020. Gendering Research on Online Illegal Drug Markets. Addiction Research & Theory, 28(6), pp. 457-466. ISSN 1606-6359

Fleetwood, J. 2019. Everyday self-defence: Hollaback narratives, habitus and resisting street harassment. British Journal of Sociology, 70(5), pp. 1709-1729. ISSN 0007-1315

Fleetwood, J and Seal, L. 2017. Women, Drugs and the Death Penalty: Framing Sandiford. The Howard Journal of Crime and Justice, 56(3), pp. 358-381.

Fleetwood, Jennifer. 2017. Introduction. Drug Mules: International Advances in Research and Policy. The Howard Journal of Crime and Justice, 56(3), pp. 279-287. ISSN 2059-1098

Sandberg, S and Fleetwood, J. 2017. Street talk and Bourdieusian criminology: Bringing narrative to field theory. Criminology and Criminal Justice, 17(4), pp. 365-381. ISSN 1748-8958

Fleetwood, Jennifer and Potter, Gary R.. 2017. Ethnographic research on crime and control: Editors’ introduction. Methodological Innovations, 10(1), pp. 1-4.

Elliott, T and Fleetwood, J. 2017. Law for ethnographers. Methodological Innovations, 10(1), pp. 1-13.

Nuñez, J and Fleetwood, J. 2017. The Blind Panopticon: Prisoners’ subversion of the prison in Ecuador 1845-2014. Prison Service Journal, 229, pp. 35-40. ISSN 0300-3558

Tritton, P and Fleetwood, J. 2017. An insider’s view of prison reform in Ecuador. Prison Service Journal, 229, pp. 40-45. ISSN 0300-3558

Fleetwood, J. 2016. Entering the Global Field: Talk, Travel and Narrative Practice in Ecuadorian Prisons. British Journal of Community Justice, 14(2), pp. 13-32. ISSN 1475-0279

Daly, M and Fleetwood, J. 2016. Are drug users to blame for the violence of the drug trade? Vice,

Fleetwood, J. 2016. Narrative habitus: thinking through structure/agency in the narratives of offenders. Crime, Media, Culture, 12(2), pp. 173-192. ISSN 1741-6590

Fleetwood, J. 2015. Mafias, markets, mules: Gender stereotypes in discourses about drug trafficking. Sociology Compss, 9(11), pp. 962-976.

Fleetwood, J. 2015. A narrative approach to women’s lawbreaking. Feminist Criminology, 10(4), pp. 368-388. ISSN 1557-0851

Fleetwood, J; Radcliffe, P and Stevens, A. 2015. Shorter sentences for drug mules: The early impact of the sentencing guidelines in England and Wales. Drugs: Education, Prevention & Policy, 22(5), pp. 428-436. ISSN 0968-7637

Fleetwood, J. 2013. Five myths about drug mules and the death penalty. The Conversation,

Fleetwood, J. 2013. Keeping out of trouble: Female crack cocaine dealers in England. European Journal of Criminology, 11(1), pp. 91-109. ISSN 1477-3708

Fleetwood, J. 2011. Five Kilos: Penalties and Practice in the International Cocaine Trade. British Journal of Criminology, 51(2), pp. 375-393. ISSN 0007-0955

Fleetwood, J and Urquiza Haas, N. 2011. Gendering the agenda: women drug mules in Resolution 52/1 of the Commission of Narcotic Drugs at the United Nations. Drugs and Alcohol Today, 11(4), pp. 194-204. ISSN 1745-9265

Fleetwood, J. 2009. Emotional work: ethnographic fieldwork in prisons in Ecuador. Esharp, Special edition on researching hidden communities., pp. 28-50.


Fleetwood, J. 2015. Sentencing Reform for drug trafficking in England and Wales’, IDPC Briefing paper, International Drug policy consortium. Discussion Paper. International Drug Policy Consrtium, London.