XVII ISA World Congress of Sociology, Sociology on the move, Gothenburg, Sweden, July 2010


RC homepage


Research Committee on
Deviance and Social Control RC29

Programme Coordinators
Maria Stela Grossi, Brasilia University, Brazil, msgrossi@unb.br and Robert Nash Parker, University of California, USA, robnp@aol.com

Congress Programme


In the mood of the major theme of XVII World Congress, Sociology on the Move, RC 29 proposes to be a moment for reflection about the great transformations on crime, conflict, violence and punishment around the world, reflection that implies the study of actors and victims but also the analyses of institutions related to these phenomena, there is, institutions charged of public safety, social control, criminal justice and, in a wider viewpoint, justice operation and administration, besides institutions of civil society. Giving this central axe, the RC welcome contributions from a theoretical framework and trends as well as those centered in the results of research works issues from empirical manifestations.

If it’s true that the sociology of violence has, in recent times, multiply in a certain sense, the knowledge and analysis about events and phenomena of violence; however, it’s also important to pointed out that new dynamics and new manifestations of these phenomena suggest the need of continuing the debate, the analyses and the research of the news (and old) events that have violence as the main social, political and economics processes in modern life.

Sessions descriptions

Session 1: Regional research on Sociology of Deviance/Criminology/Social Control
Organizer: Robert Nash Parker, University of California, USA, robnp@aol.com
RC 29 invites papers  focused on the nature of theory and research in world regions such as Europe, Africa, South America, Southeast Asia, Caribbean, North America, and so on.  This could be one session featuring research from different regions, or, depending on the number of submissions, independent sessions, each  focusing on research from one region.  Groups of scholars doing work in a particular region are encouraged to organize and submit a regionally focused session for the 2010 RC 29 program. 

Session 2: Women and crime in the 21st Century
Organizer: April Bernard, The University of the West Indies, Barbados, April.Bernard@cavehill.uwi.edu
The purpose of the session could be to collectively explore and scan the situation of Women and Crime in the 21st Century from various international perspectives.  This session could be intentionally broad in scope and invite a range of papers on topics that could include such issues as Domestic violence, Sexual assault and violence, Violence Against Women, Homicide, Stalking, Community safety, Women as offenders, Corrections and offender management, Prevention and rehabilitation programs and policy, Women in policing, and Human and drug trafficking. This could be one session or depending on submissions, more than  one session focused on the topics listed aboive and others related to Women and Crime. 

Session 3: Cultural criminology
Paula Wilcox, University of Brighton, UK, p.s.wilcox@brighton.ac.uk
Crime and the agencies and institutions of crime control as cultural products; the relationship between cultural constructions upwards and cultural constructions downwards as related to crime, criminality, and crime control; generation of meaning around interaction, moral entrepreneurship, political innovation and transgression. 

Session 4: International criminal justice policymaking: The relevance of socio-criminological research
Rosemary Barberet, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, USA, rbarberet@jjay.cuny.edu,
This session will explore the relevance of socio-criminological research to international organizations involved in criminal justice policymaking, such as the United Nations (including the World Health Organization and the World bank), the European Union, the Organization of American States, the International Criminal Court, INTERPOL, the Council of Europe, and many others.  What are the policy implications of the growing body of internationalized socio-criminological research and how might they be linked in to the activities of these intergovernmental policymaking organizations? 

Session 5: Juvenile victimization and offending in a “Virtual World
Organizer: Stacey Nofziger, University of Akron, USA, sn18@uakron.edu.
One thematic priority for this World Congress is to examine the ways that everyday life has been changed through the explosion of virtual communication (Action and Imagination).  For juveniles, technology is always an important part of the youth culture and finding news means of communication and self-expression in the virtual world can be a way of establishing identity.  However, this type of technology also opens new avenues for juvenile victimization and offending.  Cyber-bullying is rapidly becoming a new form of torment for children and the access to children created through internet sites can have traumatic consequences.  In addition, physical size and maturity are no longer barriers to offending when violent or fraudulent acts are committed in “cyber-space.” The session welcomes papers dealing with the following themes: Recent developments in theoretical understandings of “virtual” juvenile offending and victimization.; advancements in methodology for studying cyber / internet crime involving juveniles; Research on internet or virtual juvenile victimization or offending.

Session 6:  Urban violence: Crime, fear and punishment
Organizers: Maria Stela Grossi Porto, Universidade de Brasília, Brazil, msgrossi@unb.br  and Renato Sérgio de Lima, Fórum Brasileiro de Segurança Pública, Brazil, rsdlima@forumseguranca.org.br
On the past three decades, researchers have recognized very important changes on the way crime and violence have been evolving in contemporary societies. There is no agreement yet on causes or motivation. Nevertheless, there has been considered that punishment has not been able to respond to the problems posed for this evolution nor the changes in its context. We propose to discuss achievements of studies, analysis and researches that try to explore the theme of lack of punishment on criminal justice under four aspects: a) Theoretical perspectives on studies on lack of punishment in criminal justice; b) Political perspectives on studies of lack of punishment in criminal justice; c) studies on crime and violence in the flow of  the criminal justice system: methodological issues, social representations, comparative analysis, results and their interpretations; d) studies on extra-legal forms of punishment.  

Session 7: Democracy, human rights and social control  
Organizer: Sergio Adorno, University of Sao Paulo, Brazil, sadorno@usp.br and Dr. Nancy Cardia, University of Sao Paulo, Brazil, ncardia@usp.br
The new century has brought new challenges for human rights in world: since the beginning of the 2000’s, democracies can be assessed by how far they implement rule of law, accountability, responsiveness to civil society and citizens’ demands, the full respect for rights and greater political, social and  economic equality. Though all aspects are relevant, the capacity of authorities to enforce the laws or rule of law is considered to be a pre- requisite for all the other dimensions. If the rule of law is respected, the “critical features” for good democracy need to be analyzed and these refer to how universally and independently laws are applied: the integral application of the legal system, also at the supra-national level, guaranteeing the rights and equality of citizens; the absence of areas dominated by organized crime and of corruption in the political, administrative, and judicial branches; the existence of a local and centralized civil bureaucracy that competently, and universally applies the law and assumes responsibility in the event of error; the existence of an efficient police force that respects the rights and freedoms guaranteed by law; equal, unhindered access of citizens to the legal system in the case of lawsuits either between private citizens or between private citizens and public institutions- this also implies that citizens know their rights and can obtain representation; reasonably swift resolution of criminal inquiries and of civil and administrative lawsuits; the complete independence of the judiciary from any political influence. (Morlino, 2004).  The main objective of this session is to offer answers for these questions. 

Session 8: New normalizations, new visibilities and the emergence of a new paradigm for law 
Organizer: Maria Vitoria Mourao, ISCSP/Capp, Portugal, vmourao@iscsp.utl.pt
Social change is all about opening new arenas of normalization and the conflict between law and social practices and the gap to overcome new laws and more justice on penology. We want to raise knowledge on new forms of social normalization and about new penology, We would like to address papers that cover issues of white collar crime and deviance among non traditionally  excluded populations. Finance crime and the regulation and governance associated with it. Controlling bodies or controlling groups. Barriers and borders in the west Euthanasia representations and new ethical dilemmas, Drug use by non excluded populations and law non conformity; Sexual Identities and the Body of inclusion/exclusion Social representations of Power and Corruption may also be addressed in this session. We also address interest on Public polices and the Regulation Body of governance to address the above issues.  

Session 9: The media and the present forms of violence
Organizer: Angelina Peralva, CADIS/EHESS, France, peralva@univ-tlse2.fr
The relationship between the media, the journalists and the present forms of violence are to say the least complex. Sometimes blamed for exciting them, sometimes for trying to hide them, the journalists have a major role in the organisation of the public debates around the subject. Debates which, nevertheless, do not depend only on them. The asymmetry between actors of the public debate, and the unequal access to the public space available to each of them, make sometimes violence no longer the object, but the entrance door in the debate. At the same time, the journalists quite often become target of rejection and mistrust on behalf of populations weakened, that feel stigmatized by their charges, making still more difficult their already painful conditions of daily life. This section, welcome communications that, from studies already carried out or still in course, contribute to clarify different aspects of these relations.

Session 10 : The global crisis of policing: Issues and new models for a paricipatory democracy
Organizers: José Vicente Tavares dos Santos, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul,  Brazil, jvicente@portoweb.com.br and Abdul-Mumin Sa´ad, University of Maiduguri, Nigeria, amsaadj@yahoo.com
A major social crisis of the XXI century is the failure of public security and the global crisis of policing. Throughout the world, several Authors have issued their critics on the police culture and on the authoritarian and violent behavior of the police officers. If policing is reduced to the dimension of repressive social control, we observe in several countries the use of illegal and illegitimate violence, which have resulted in violations of human rights. In the last decade the police issue has become critical and complex, be it due to its alleged ineffectiveness in facing the growth and differentiation of actions socially criminalized or in confronting the new crimes. Yet, the political processes of State reform and of the imposition of neoliberal public policies have produced a severe impact on the police forces, with the emergence of a profound crisis of efficacy, honorability, and respect of human rights. There are many variables that compound the policing crisis: the transformations in contemporary society, begun in 1990 with the changes in the forms of crime, the expansion of diffuse violence and the violence against women and children; the charges of violation of human rights and the victimization of the poor, the young men and ethnic minorities; the strengthening of civil society and the involvement of local collectivity in the community policing; the consequences of these world changes on police organizations, the police management, the experiences of community police; and the transformations in the education of police officers, mainly the new consortia with the Universities.
In this context, it is possible to distinguish various reform strategies in the field of social control and policing. The most important is the debate about the police models in dispute around the world: community and problem solving policing; management theory: the ideas borrowed from the ‘new public management’; a tough Police, confirming a ‘law and order’ point of view about policing, oriented by the zero tolerance notion; or the new modes of policing, directed by peacekeeping, conflict management, crime investigation, and the promotion of community justice. It keeps the debate about the nature of policing open through argumentation and deliberation, agreement and disagreement, and the respect for the lawful democratic state. We could then think of the construction of a world citizenship, marked by the institutional creation and by the diffusion and communication of social, juridical, symbolic innovative of a new social order. On one hand, there is the reinvention of forms of solidarity; on the other, we observe the redefinition of labor, both in rural and urban spaces. Finally, it is possible to analyze the prevention and eradication of the forms of social violence and the construction of another ideal-type of police, the Citizenship Police.
What constitutes appropriate policing has become a worldwide concern in dealing with the increase of diffuse violence – political, social, sexual, symbolic, and ecological violence – as well as to the new profile of criminal violence. However, it is very likely that a paradigm shift to another ideal-type of police office is on its way, this time guided by the principles of the relationship with the communities and of the mediation of social conflicts. Furthermore, the features of social control are under debate in order to propose alternatives for citizenship security in a new participatory democracy.

Session 11: Business Meeting