Call for Publications: Reflexivity in Criminological Research
The editors of the collection Reflexivity in Criminological Research: Experiences with the Powerless and the Powerful (Basingstoke: Palgrave, under contract) are seeking submissions on race, racism, ethnicity and reflexivity in criminological research.
Significant studies such as William Whyte’s (1943) Street Corner Society, Ned Polsky’s (1971) Hustlers, Beats and Others, Ken Pryce’s (1979) Endless Pressure, Patricia Adler’s (1985) Wheeling and Dealing and Dick Hobbs’ (1989) Doing the Business, (to name just a few), provide valuable insights into the challenges the authors faced in the course of their research on crime and/or deviance. Doing research with criminals or deviants has inspired much academic reflection, particularly in respect of the risks and dangers which researchers (may) face in these contexts, as well as the host of ethical, legal and moral dilemmas they provoke. This is also reflected in the works of Lyng (1990) and Ferrell and Hamm (1998) who suggest that criminologists engage in ‘edgework’ (which involves us experientially immersing ourselves in the risky activities and behaviours of the culture in question). These works mainly focus on research with underprivileged subjects or, to put it more bluntly, those groups perceived as powerless – the underdogs. By contrast, researchers investigating other topics under the remit of criminology, such as those which involve the powerful; institutional mechanisms of control, regulation and surveillance (including prisons, courts, police, social work settings, CCTV rooms and so on), have tended to remain quiet regarding their experiences. It could be posited that adopting a reflexive approach when conducting research in these politically charged settings is more problematic. However, this is precisely why, as criminologists, we must openly acknowledge, reflect upon, and share, our experiences of research in various settings, particularly if, and when, internal or external power dynamics are at play.
The aim of Reflexivity in Criminological Research is to contribute to, advance and consolidate discussions of the ranges of methods and approaches in criminology through the presentation of international case studies in which the authors reflect upon their experiences with both powerless and/or powerful individuals/groups.
Submissions which address race, racism and ethnicity in relation to the following criminological research areas/issues are welcome:
Researching policing, sentencing, prisons, hate crimes, 'riots', institutional racism in the criminal justice system and racialisation/criminalisation;
Accessing the field, building relationships with gatekeepers and/or research negotiations;
The influence of the researcher’s biography on their selection of research topic;
Relationships with the researched and interactions in the field.
Emotional or physical risks encountered, particularly in research of a sensitive nature or on vulnerable groups;
Power, partisanship and bias;
Issues faced when exiting the field/ending relationships with respondents;
Dissemination of research findings. For instance, engaging in ‘public’ criminology, ‘giving voice’ to the researched and their responses to what we publish;
The ‘problems’ with reflexivity in criminological research;
The role of reflexivity in new or innovative research methods/approaches such as digital/online methods, visual ethnography, team research, or mixed methods
Editors: Dr. Karen Lumsden (Loughborough) and Dr. Aaron Winter (Abertay)
The deadline for proposals/abstracts is 1 July 2013. Please send proposals/abstracts and any questions to Aaron Winter at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Aaron Winter
School of Social and Health Sciences
University of Abertay
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