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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.

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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

Abstract

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Sensory Penalities: Exploring the Senses in Spaces of Punishment and Social Control
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83909-727-0

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

Hanna Maria Malik

This chapter explores the empowering potential of research conducted with an activist orientation. It focuses on the story of four migrant workers employed in a Norwegian…

Abstract

This chapter explores the empowering potential of research conducted with an activist orientation. It focuses on the story of four migrant workers employed in a Norwegian fish-processing plant, who, supported by the local trade union and along with 67 colleagues, resisted against exploitative working, employment, and living conditions. Meant as a study of the emergence and dynamics of criminological activism, this chapter reflects the capacities in which researchers tend to act to challenge the normalisation of state-corporate harms and to empower those victimised by these harms, as well as on the pitfalls of these approaches. In so doing, this chapter points to the parallels between state-corporate criminology, labour perspective on human trafficking, social harm, and zemiology. Ultimately, it calls for heightened reflexivity and critical intellectual distance from activist researchers.

Details

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

Keywords

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

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 9 August 2023

Lynzi Armstrong

The sex work research field has expanded significantly in recent years, and a myriad of studies have highlighted diverse forms of injustice that sex workers endure. Sex workers…

Abstract

The sex work research field has expanded significantly in recent years, and a myriad of studies have highlighted diverse forms of injustice that sex workers endure. Sex workers are a marginalised and criminalised population and thus researchers have an ethical responsibility to undertake research that challenges existing social conditions and can help support sex worker-led campaigns for change. But what does ‘making a difference’ mean in the context of sex work research and what factors may constrain the extent to which this can be achieved? In this chapter, I explore the promise and pitfalls of undertaking politically engaged, activist research on sex work. I do so by reflecting on my experience as a researcher in the New Zealand context. The aim of this chapter is to unpack the challenges of undertaking research for social change and to explore the possibilities for strengthening the impact of research in this ideologically charged area.

Details

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

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 9 August 2023

Becka Hudson

Inquiries, commissions, reviews and the promise of broader data collection about racial and gender disparities are now the reflex defensive responses from state institutions…

Abstract

Inquiries, commissions, reviews and the promise of broader data collection about racial and gender disparities are now the reflex defensive responses from state institutions charged with grievous social harm, particularly in the UK. Recommendations from these exercises are rarely implemented. As criminologists, our ability to produce and analyse data that evidences or better illuminates social harm has long been a key offer of the discipline to activism.

How are we to respond to the very institutions activist criminologists seek to challenge immediately offering this very activity, invariably protracted and ineffectual, as a reflex response to activist challenge? This chapter explores this tension. Grounded in the work of groups struggling to end police stop and search, it considers the strategy impasse around research and data production that faces grassroots activists and their accomplice researchers. The chapter proposes new routes for collaboration and action across activist and criminologist communities that may help move past the ‘data trap’. In short, it seeks to answer: do activists need more evidence?

Details

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

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 9 August 2023

David Rodríguez Goyes

Criminologists spend many hours debating whether they should intervene in the real world to make it better or whether they should limit themselves to taking a detached stance in…

Abstract

Criminologists spend many hours debating whether they should intervene in the real world to make it better or whether they should limit themselves to taking a detached stance in their research. Debates about the role of criminologists in society have followed the script of the modern academy, which praises the lone hero researcher. Yet, the challenges criminologists confront with their activism have deep cultural and structural roots that only collective action can transform. The injustices criminologists confront (defined as harm or crime committed by individual or collective actors that is corporate-sponsored or state-sponsored) require that criminologists exchange the ‘I’ for a ‘we’, and ask how we can collectively mobilise to transform society. In this chapter, the author discusses how Colombian Indigenous communities and the author, in partnership, have used a pedagogy of liberation to transform the deep sources of violence fuelling their genocide.

Details

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

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