Chair: Alistair Henry

The ties that bind?: solidarities, identities and performances

Building: G
Room: 21


Author: Franko Katja, University of Olso

Title: The Divided Continent: Penal Power Between the East and West
This paper explores the case of penality directed at East- European citizens In Norway. These citizens are strongly represented among the prison population and those deported because of breaches of criminal law. The paper suggests that punishment of these “crimmigrant others” has an important role in terms of reinforcing certain group solidarities (i.e. based on ethnic identity) and dissolving others (i.e. those based on EU membership). The paper aims to discern the various forms of punitiveness directed at these groups; including those with explicitly moral objectives, as well as more instrumental concerns, particularly the objectives of efficient territorial exclusion of the mobile poor through the extensive use of fines and relatively minor penalties. These processes are revealing of Europe’s conflicted relationship with its own diversity and its internal others. The crimmigrant other thus becomes a vehicle for managing the conflicting relationship between the West and the East and for social control and exclusion in a content seemingly committed to integration, unity and internal freedom of movement, yet deeply at odds with and exclusionary towards certain populations within its own territory.
Keywords: penal power' 'crimmigrant' 'EU membership' 'exclusion'
Author: Storgaard Anette, Aarhus University

Title: Conditions, Obligations and Challenges During Supervision Time for Parolees
From classical studies, (for instance Goffmann: Asylums), we know that time spent in prison may be very likely to reduce social and human competences and further that not all competences can be repaired after release. Other studies confirm that new solidarity (with other prisoners) grow while in prison. Lost competences and a change in life-perspectives (new ties) call for time to adjust while leaving the prison. A period on parole (early release on certain conditions) intend to offer the time for adjustment. Well-educated professionals as for instance probation workers are often well aware of the need for time to adjust. The professionals, however, often find themselves in a difficult situation between expectations for solidarity from multiple sides; the probation system, collaborating societal institutions and the client. Which challenges do the professionals face in their attempts to make things work? And are external interests and unintended consequences likely to play a role? These questions are discussed by starting out with the Systemtheory of Niklas Luhmann. A Scandinavian study on professionals’ approach to release on parole will be included to illustrate the challenges for professionals and their clients.
Keywords: parole' 'systems theory' 'solidarity' 'professionalism'
Author: McAra Lesley, University of Edinburgh

Title: Towards an Ethical Response to ‘Wicked’ Problems: Theory and Method in Contemporary Criminology
David Downes (1983), memorably called Criminology a ‘rendezvous discipline’, a site of methodological and theoretical crossings. However, the massive expansion of the subject area in recent years has paradoxically led to a degree of specialisation and methodological purity which may undermine the discipline’s capacity to have lasting impact and legacy in the world beyond the academy. The principal reason is that crime is, what Grint (2008) would term, a ‘wicked’ problem: complex and contested in nature and difficult if not impossible to solve. According to Grint, the interrogation of wicked problems requires a multi-disciplinary rather than the specialist mindset, ‘clumsy’ rather than elegant theoretical and methodological responses. This paper explores the implications of wicked problems for the role and standpoint of the contemporary criminologist and in particular the capacity of criminology to construct a praxis. If clumsy theory and method are core to knowledge production can they have an ethical basis? And, as a 21st criminologist what is ‘my station’ and what are ’its duties’ (Bradley 1873)?
Keywords: Bradley' 'ethics' 'wicked problems' 'criminological praxis'
Author: Henry Alistair, University of Edinburgh

Title: Interaction Rituals, Performance, and Police-Public Encounters
A key orientation of the microsociology of Collins (drawing on Durkheim and Goffman) is that it is the focused performances of situated interactions, or ‘encounters’, that need to be the centre of analysis, not ‘the individual’. It is in the moment of the encounter that structure and agency coalesce, and are performed and negotiated. As such, it is through encounters that self and collective identities are forged and given meaning, both successful and failed encounters being potential moments of high emotion and real and symbolic import to participants, marking confirmation or refutation of status and social membership. Where criminology has touched upon ritual theory it has more often been in the context of formal organised rites, such as the degradation ceremony of the court, rather than in the more informal, everyday situated encounters and experiences that are at the heart of interaction ritual theory. This paper uses ritual theory to revisit and revise thinking on the symbolic dimensions of policing, and to explore police-public encounters as moments of recognition or denunciation that have serious consequences for citizens and officers.
Keywords: interaction rituals' 'recognition' 'denunciation' 'policing' 'encounters'
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