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Book part
Publication date: 9 August 2023

Greg Martin

Cultural criminologists have long been interested in the politics of crime and deviance, whether that be in relation to youth subculture resistance or the social reaction to…

Abstract

Cultural criminologists have long been interested in the politics of crime and deviance, whether that be in relation to youth subculture resistance or the social reaction to transgression evident in the media construction of folk devils and moral panics. While contemporary ‘new’ cultural criminology continues to be focused on the situated experience of deviant ‘edgeworkers’, this chapter argues cultural criminology’s concern with the crime-media nexus provides particularly fertile ground for exploring insights provided by activists, academics, professional journalists and citizen journalists around informal interventions on formal criminal justice processes using social media and digital technologies. Drawing on examples from a burgeoning body of crime-media research, the chapter makes a case for ‘cultural criminology activism’, which, like activist criminology, is consciously disengaged from mainstream criminology’s alignment with the neoliberal-carceral state and its reformist agenda.

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The Emerald International Handbook of Activist Criminology
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80262-199-0

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Book part
Publication date: 9 August 2023

Victoria Canning, Greg Martin and Steve Tombs

This chapter provides a context for The Emerald International Handbook of Activist Criminology. It offers an overview of the small, yet burgeoning literature dedicated to…

Abstract

This chapter provides a context for The Emerald International Handbook of Activist Criminology. It offers an overview of the small, yet burgeoning literature dedicated to ‘criminology activism’, which includes engagement with public criminology and various brands of critical criminology, as well as zemiology or the study of social harm beyond narrow state-centric definitions of crime. Among other things, the chapter considers the role academics might play in addressing social and criminal injustice, and the new opportunities afforded to both academics and activists – including citizen journalists and media professionals – by digital technologies and social media when intervening in campaigns for justice and formal criminal legal processes. To answer the question, why now, the chapter argues we are currently in the midst of an unprecedented period of upheaval requiring action from activists and academics alike, including criminologists engaged in social scientific research operating beyond the delusions of objectivity and value-neutrality, that is, politically engaged research aiming to remedy not only the absence of meaningful state intervention in crime and harm but also expose the role of corporations and the state itself in prosecuting and perpetuating crime and harm.

Details

The Emerald International Handbook of Activist Criminology
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80262-199-0

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 9 August 2023

Abstract

Details

The Emerald International Handbook of Activist Criminology
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80262-199-0

Book part
Publication date: 9 August 2023

Giulia Ferranti

The illegalisation of solidarities towards migrants with irregular status provides critical insights into the limits that EU governments set to the free movement, speech, and…

Abstract

The illegalisation of solidarities towards migrants with irregular status provides critical insights into the limits that EU governments set to the free movement, speech, and action of their citizens and their consequences. Here, the author outlines why and how, in a scenario of illegalisation, solidarities must come to terms with inherent contradictions, because the very nature of these solidarities, in terms of who can perform them, may reproduce specific dynamics of structural inequalities. Particularly questioning who rescues, and who can rescue, and who cannot, implies the acknowledgement that solidarities, and visible resistance, are not always democratic, but instruments of the privileged that reproduce social stratification. By critically engaging in the development of activist criminology, the author argues that the democratisation of solidarities would entail that all individuals have the same possibilities and incur the same risks if confronted with a scenario of illegalisation. But such democratisation is a chimera, meaning that there are social hierarchies of who is allowed to rescue, and who would have too much to lose. This also suggests relevant implications for criminologists who choose not to divorce from a commitment to solidarity activism. In fact, activist criminologists often work ‘at a distance’, dispose of continued access to valuable resources and networks, and make a career based on their activist work. These elements of privilege inevitably provide them with disproportionate power in activist spaces, whose critical acknowledgement is paramount and must be complemented with radical action to progressively work towards a deconstruction of their own incongruencies.

Details

The Emerald International Handbook of Activist Criminology
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80262-199-0

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Book part
Publication date: 9 August 2023

Chloé Branders

This chapter is based on criminological research about theatre in detention. The research results allow a new conceptual approach to the notion of subversion. The purpose of this…

Abstract

This chapter is based on criminological research about theatre in detention. The research results allow a new conceptual approach to the notion of subversion. The purpose of this work is to (a) briefly present the object, context, and methodology of the research; (b) describe the concept of subversion; and (c) explain how subversion can serve an activist project in criminology. The topic will be situated in an epistemological reflection, illuminating the nature of the prison theatre project and its criminological applications.

Details

The Emerald International Handbook of Activist Criminology
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80262-199-0

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 9 August 2023

Cormac Behan

This chapter examines the prisoners’ strike which took place throughout Great Britain in August 1972. The strike, the first of its kind in British penal history, took place…

Abstract

This chapter examines the prisoners’ strike which took place throughout Great Britain in August 1972. The strike, the first of its kind in British penal history, took place against a background of sub-standard conditions in British prisons, with an outdated prison estate, overcrowding, ‘slopping out’, and a prison department preoccupied with secrecy. The strike was not a sporadic protest, rather it occurred during a year of social and political unrest both inside and outside prisons, and was led by an organisation of prisoners and ex-prisoners – the Union for the Preservation of the Rights of Prisoners (PROP). While the government recognised the need for improvements in prison conditions, it refused to recognise the right of prisoners to organise. An analysis of the 1972 strike and the role of PROP can inform contemporary penal reform and abolitionist debates among scholars, practitioners, activists, prisoners and ex-prisoners.

Details

The Emerald International Handbook of Activist Criminology
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80262-199-0

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 9 August 2023

Ilaria Aversa

Activist criminology advocates for social change by acting beyond the role of the academic, mainly through first-hand involvement in the field (Goyes, 2016). In this chapter, the…

Abstract

Activist criminology advocates for social change by acting beyond the role of the academic, mainly through first-hand involvement in the field (Goyes, 2016). In this chapter, the author offers a longitudinal reflection on the researcher’s positionality, epistemology and methodology from the personal experience since their first research project, in 2019. During this project, the author started having cooperation with the Liberi Nantes migrants’ sports centre, now a community centre in Rome’s working-class suburb. This sparked her first reflections on activist criminology and how to embed it in her research approach and practice. The initial cooperation evolved in the ongoing and evolving collective ‘conversational integration’ project, which aims at overcoming the notion of integration as one-sided assimilation, working on addressing the diverse needs of the local community through a bottom-up governance initiative. This chapter is to be intended as a checkpoint in their growth within activist criminology and it hopefully serves to spark questions, suggestions and a push to form a solid network of activist academics that can help in fostering social change outside of the neoliberal agendas of academia.

Details

The Emerald International Handbook of Activist Criminology
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80262-199-0

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 9 August 2023

Will Jackson, Will McGowan and Emma Murray

This chapter examines the potential of ‘Artivism’ for activist criminology. Drawing on a body of work developed since 2016, this chapter explores a series of projects that have…

Abstract

This chapter examines the potential of ‘Artivism’ for activist criminology. Drawing on a body of work developed since 2016, this chapter explores a series of projects that have examined how an approach to research that harnesses the activist qualities of art could be used to inform transformative criminological research. Artivism is an approach that involves merging ‘the boundless imagination of art and the radical engagement of politics’ (Jordan, 2020, p. 60), and by amplifying marginalised voices, the overarching aim is to effect social and political change. This type of activist art is not reducible to the production of political art – art about an issue – but instead seeks to change the way that we think, speak, and act. In this sense, this approach accords with the principles of critical social research in ensuring that ‘the voices and experiences of those marginalised by institutionalised state practices are heard and represented’ (Scraton, 2007, p. 10). Examining pilot projects developed with artists and producers based in Liverpool, England, and focussed on experiences of prison and probation, the authors examine the potential that this approach has to change both the way they work as critical criminologists and the objects of this study. With reference to the question of a method for activist criminology, the chapter suggests that critical criminological work can be informed and enhanced by collaboration with socially engaged art – a form of artistic practice that seeks to address social and political issues and is often associated with activist strategies. This chapter, therefore, aims to contribute to debates about how activist criminologies may be done and offers suggestions for new directions in this work underpinned by interdisciplinary collaborations and the coproduction of research with those similarly committed to a transformative project.

Details

The Emerald International Handbook of Activist Criminology
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80262-199-0

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 9 August 2023

Alejandro Forero-Cuéllar and Iñaki Rivera-Beiras

The struggle against torture and institutional violence has to be practiced in numerous scenarios: in the very places of deprivation of liberty, against workers, administrations…

Abstract

The struggle against torture and institutional violence has to be practiced in numerous scenarios: in the very places of deprivation of liberty, against workers, administrations and judges who try to hide it or justify it, but also, it’s a struggle against an academy that, too often, has decided to look the other way. In order to be activist, criminology must leave the classroom and enter the places of deprivation of liberty. It must engage with victims and survivors and it has to make political and social denunciations, organising itself and weaving networks with other social organisations that fight for the same goal. Unfortunately, it also has to fight against the very obstacles that the criminal justice system institutions pose; the denunciations and persecution of these same institutions and some police and prison workers groups and unions; the dirty war against terrorism and political dissent; and the criminalisation of some mass media and also of the academic world, where activism against this phenomenon is a minority and marginalised. These two sides of the same coin, involvement in anti-torture activist movements, as well as persecution and criminalisation when challenging state power, is what the authors of this chapter have experienced in Catalonia and Spain. While we fight against torture outside the classroom, we also carry out activism inside the classroom, teaching what other academics do not want to engage with, and pointing out the political elements of criminology and the action of the penal system. In this chapter, the authors highlight the use of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment in custody and prison, and in the context of police activity in Spain. Then, the authors explain the structures of denial (political, judicial and academic) that allow its perpetuation and impunity. The text ends with a journey through the configuration of activist criminology in Spain that unites critical analysis from a legal sociology perspective with collective and activist intervention.

Details

The Emerald International Handbook of Activist Criminology
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80262-199-0

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 9 August 2023

Victoria Canning and Lisa Matthews

The UK has long heralded itself as ‘beacon of hope’ for those who need it most: people seeking sanctuary from persecution. Recently, this mythology has been exposed as just that …

Abstract

The UK has long heralded itself as ‘beacon of hope’ for those who need it most: people seeking sanctuary from persecution. Recently, this mythology has been exposed as just that – a myth – replaced by the reality that the UK is in fact a hostile environment for people seeking asylum. Although this is increasingly publicly acknowledged, interventions and support are generally maintained by grassroots organisations, struggling law firms and dedicated activists – many of whom themselves receive limited or no support. This chapter charts the development of an activist strategy on which the authors collaborated to counteract the harms of the British asylum system. The Right to Remain Asylum Navigation Board was produced to ensure consistent, accurate information about the process of seeking asylum, but also as a means to bring together people who often experience internalised feelings of failure when asylum claims are rejected. A form of consciousness raising (CR), and developed from working with people seeking asylum, the authors aimed to create a tool that supports people to recognise they are not failures: they are embedded in a system which is set up for people to fail. Here, the authors outline how and why we did so, and address the value of moving criminological research into activist intervention to support groups who are most structurally disenfranchised.

Details

The Emerald International Handbook of Activist Criminology
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80262-199-0

Keywords

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