PUBLIC CRIMINOLOGY PRESENTATION ABSTRACTS
GIRLS GONE WILD: POSTFEMINIST MENACE OR MEDIA HOAX
Speaker: Meda Chesney-Lind
Date: September 18
Are girls closing the gap with boys when it comes to violence? Is equality on the soccer fields leading to equality on the killing fields as so many in the corporate media seem to suggest? This presentation will review what is actually known about trends in girls' use of violence and aggression by reviewing current trends in female delinquency. Essentially, while girls' arrests have leveled off in the past few years, arrests of girls for simple assault have soared over the last decade, while boys' arrest for the same offense decline. More significantly, girls' detentions climbed by 98% between 1991-2003; referrals to court climbed by roughly the same amount, and most significantly, girls' incarcerations climbed sharply (88% compared to a 23% increase seen in boys' imprisonments). Key to the demonization and subsequent criminalization of girls' minor violence are shifts, not in girls' behavior, but in the official response to girls' aggression in an era of zero tolerance and mandatory arrest. Political and media discoveries of "bad" or "wild" women, it will be argued, confirms the conservative definitions of girlhood and womanhood as being "out of control" and in need of male supervision and surveillance. Hence, the mix of silence and lack of concern (to the real victimizations and issues of women) coupled with intense concern about controlling women's "wildness" and sexuality, are important cornerstones of modern patriarchal control of women globally and it falls to feminist critical criminology to illuminate these connections.
TOP DOWN OR BOTTOM UP?: A PLEA FOR THE ROLE OF ETHNOGRAPHY IN PUBLIC CRIMINOLOGY
Speaker: Peter K. Manning
Date: September 25
Public Criminology (Buraway, 2004, 2005) has been distinguished from the everyday sociologies of the politicians, the Management Moguls and the Captains of Industry. It has been closely connected to ethnographic work, although ethnographic research is rarely used to guide public policy. This role has been occupied since the 1950s by large scale, national sample survey research and data that are analyzed statistically. In the case of criminology, and police studies in particular, the overwhelming influence now flows from the interests of and for the police - "top down criminology" - rather than from theoretical questions. Three research topics are revisited (Buraway, 2003), studies of that might be called "conventional research": a) the effects of policing on crime; b) assessment of police performance and c) the impact of drug policing. Analysis of ethnographic evidence reveals the tragic flaws of this research, and suggests the need to reconsider the role of ethnography, a "view from the bottom," in shaping new questions and research in public criminology.
THE 2011 VANCOUVER RIOT AND THE ROLE OF SOCIAL MEDIA
Speaker: Christopher J. Schneider
Date: October 2
The recent Vancouver riot has allowed a unique historical case that enables us to compare the events of 1994 with those of 2011. While Canada has seen other "Stanley Cup Riots" (e.g., Montreal 1993, Vancouver 1994), social media were not a part of these past events. The use of social media is of course not new with the 2011 Vancouver riots and while other parallels exist (e.g., 2010 G20 Summit held in Toronto), emergent developments include changes in citizen behaviour as well as the impact that this had had on official police work. Further insight into these developments can be gained by investigating the role of social media in the 2011 Vancouver riots. In this presentation, Dr. Christopher Schneider, assistant professor of sociology, will examine the role of social media as a distinguishing feature of the 2011 riots in Vancouver and the role that these media continue to have in shaping public understandings of this event.
DRIFT: A CRIMINOLOGY OF THE CONTEMPORARY CRISIS
Presenter: Jeff Ferrell
Date: October 9
Whether hitching rides atop Mexican freight trains, wandering between one irregular Japanese job and another, traversing southern Europe in search of lost careers and aspirations, or navigating the netherworld of the North American temporary labor market, a new generation drifts amidst the predations of the late modern crisis - and portends instabilities yet to come. In this sense the defining motion of the late modern worlds does increasingly seem to be one of drift - drift spawned by both law and economy, and drift experienced as both spatial and normative dislocation. Yet many of those swept along by this anomic trajectory are not without their provisional maps; engaging their own drifting circumstances, they recall previous episodes of social drift, invent new forms of activism, and undertake uncertain episodes of deviance and transgression. In this context we would do well to recall the concept of drift from the criminological canon, to reanimate it with perspectives from other disciplines, and to consider its utility for imagining possibilities for progressive change.
TRYING POLYGAMY: COMPETING VALUES AND RIGHTS IN THE RECENT B.C. SUPREME COURT REFERENCE CASE
Presenter: Melanie Heath
Date: October 16
The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, a constitutional bill of rights adopted in 1982, represents a recent form of constitutionalism or the attempt to protect liberty through the design of political institutions. The Charter's adoption has meant increased conflict over rights claims. This lecture will consider fundamental tensions over competing rights and societal values in the recent B.C. Supreme Court reference case on whether Canada's law against polygamy is consistent with the Charter. Do the harms of polygamy justify the current law that bans it in Canada, eclipsing individual and civil rights? What are the limits of tolerance, or is "tolerance" a productive way to think about attitudes towards the practice of polygamy? What are the competing interests of gender equity in the practice of polygamy? This lecture will think about these questions in relation to another landmark case of competing rights, the recent Ontario Court of Appeal case over the decriminalization of prostitution.
HARM REDUCTION, HUMAN RIGHTS, AND CANADA'S 'DRUG PROBLEM'
Presenter: Andrew Hathaway
Date: October 23
More than a century has passed since opium was criminalized to manage mounting fears about the threat posed by Chinese, and 90 years have gone by in Canada since cannabis was banned on overtly racist and misguided grounds as well. Public policy discussions about drug use have, arguably, progressed little, if at all, in the interim considering the federal government's commitment to upholding prohibition -- despite decades of evidence and common sense suggesting that the time has come to end the war on drugs. In this austere social climate it can be invigorating to reflect on the significance of academic knowledge, the role of universities, community engagement, and related topics of considerable importance to anyone considering a life in academia, or merely contemplating the impotence or potential opportunities and challenges presented by such work.
APOLOGIES FROM DEATH ROW: IMPLICATIONS FOR OFFENDERS, VICTIMS, AND THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM
Presenter: Judy Eaton
Date: October 30
In the United States, offenders on death row are permitted to make a final statement before they are executed. Many of them take the opportunity to apologize - to their victims' families and their own families. Research suggests that apologies can be beneficial for both victims and offenders, and that they can ultimately lead to forgiveness. But what does a death row apology really mean? Is it possible for a convicted killer to convince his victim's family that he is truly remorseful? And what might this mean for the victim's family? We will take a close look at the actual last statements of death row offenders in order to learn more about what they choose to communicate as they are about to be executed. We will also examine the public statements that the families of their victims make to the press after hearing these final statements. By studying both offenders and victims, we can gain more insight into the needs and desires of both parties. Finally, we will discuss the implications of these findings for the entire notion of the death penalty. Although capital punishment is not practiced in Canada, studying the role of apology and forgiveness in such an extreme form of crime and justice can tell us a remarkable amount about our own criminal justice system.
RESTORING THE NATIVE AMERICAN PARADIGM: A MODEL FOR ALL PEOPLES IN HEALING FROM COLONIZATION VIOLENCES
Presenter: Paula du Hamel Yellow Horn
Date: November 6
'WE are ALL Indigenous Peoples'. My work professes positive peace from the conflict of colonial traumas, specifically those of Native Peoples in Canada driven finally from Indian residential schools and the Legacy thereafter generationally. Contemporary internal and external factors are explored in my workshop examining how they are allowed to continue to perpetuate traumas and mental health issues for Native and non-Native individuals and communities. Historical violences of Native Peoples are viewed as policy approaches utilizing education for extinction, where adopted internal perceptions coupled with parenting/cultural/language disconnects, and external struggles of poverty, unemployment, housing & water issues, work in synthesis and synergy to construct negative social fields - where individuals and communities become situationally positioned thus the perpetuation of traumatic 'lived' experiences. My research has founded a stratagem to change these negative social fields through an ordering of a paradigm I call the Native American Paradigm (NAP) that nourishes a foundation promoting education for resiliency. I consider the social, cultural, and economic realities existing in Native American communities and therefore investigate what values are associated to them and the rationale behind their construction that sustains the current Western Ethnocentric Eurocentric Paradigm or WEEP, which I deem in its function neo-colonially as the 'Commodification of Our Sorrows'. My research is supported by Pierre Bourdieu's theory of social realities - ('Field', 'Habitus', and 'Capital'). I show how alternative social practices are needed in Native American communities framed (in Bourdieu's terms), within alternative social fields and alternative forms of social capital that support the formation, development, and maintenance of alternative dispositions - that is, an alternative Habitus for all Peoples to heal from the conflicts created by violence to sustain resiliency and to reinstate their Native/Indigenous Paradigms. As an Ontario Ambassador for the From Stilettos to Moccasins Project, my workshop further includes a case study discussion of Native women healing from addictions, based on the findings of a community research project supported by CIHR, CCSA, and NNAPF under the University of Saskatchewan Addictions Research Chair. The case study supports understanding WEEP and the negative impacts of stigma and identity for the Native individual and community. My work also explores CR-GAP or Culturally Relevant Gender Based Analysis for Native Women in Canadian Society, and both genders as the individual, family, and community social fields extending beyond the reservation to the National Canadian public community - how this is interfaced socially with Native Peoples supporting structural and lateral violences today between peoples. The goal of my workshop is for participants to reflect on the individual, family roles, supportive parenting, stigma, poverty versus employment and economic development, restoring the Virtues such as love, heart to heart communication and confidence, identity, in support of our combined healing journey and ways of being, where we learn from one another so that we may 'ALL' as Peoples and Human's BEING restore our Indigenous paradigms in support of an environmentally sympathetic world accountable to Mother Earth therefore fostering the 'good mind' in the individual and community!
TO MIMESIS AND BEYOND: VIOLENCE, VICTIMIZATION AND TOTAL INSTITUTIONALISM IN PROFESSIONAL SPORTS CULTURES
Presenter: Michael Atkinson
Date: November 13
As sport-related criminal behaviour continues to deepened and broaden in Canadian sports cultures and elsewhere, concatenated sociological and criminological scholarship on sports-related crime remains spotted and inconsistent; akin to public concern for athletes as legitimate victims of crime in the sports process. In this talk, Michael Atkinson discusses the full range of criminal behaviours produced in and around playing fields, the manners by which individuals experience victimization in/through sport, and the power of sports institutions to discourage formal State intervention into sport. In particular, Atkinson addresses how players learn to frame violent forms of victimization as non-criminal, and the institutional codes of silence athletes are expected to uphold. Emphasis is given to the ubiquitous socio-cultural perception of sport-related violence as socially 'mimetic'; or simply, only a hollow reproduction of more 'serious' violence in other social spheres.
SURVEILLANCE AND EVERYDAY LIFE
Presenter: David Lyon
Date: November 20
Surveillance is often seen as something shadowy, hidden and thus somewhat sinister and as something unusual that is unlikely to affect us. We have nothing to hide; why would 'they' be interested in us? In fact, surveillance today is less something undertaken by undercover agents and more likely to happen in the routines of everyday life. It has not only become normal but ordinary people cheerfully engage in surveillance practices, online for example. So far from our own surveillance being a remote possibility it's a constant and unavoidable feature of daily life. However, surveillance is hidden in the sense that its presence is less easy to discern and its impact does vary with different groups in the population.