Critical Hate Studies: a theoretical perspective

Dr Zoë James1, Ms Katie McBride1
1University Of Plymouth, Uk, Plymouth, United Kingdom

This paper sets out the critical hate studies perspective which provides a theoretical account of the harms of hate in contemporary society. In doing so the paper challenges existing theoretical approaches to hate ‘crime’ that have been unable to cohesively explain the variability of patterns of hate offending or perpetrator motivations for hate incidents that appear both extreme and banal. The paper proposes that a more nuanced critical account of hate must explicitly consider the influence of neo-liberalism on our subjective identity and lived experience. In doing so it is possible to acknowledge the impact of competitive individualism and the lack of a symbolic order on human interaction that stokes anxiety and leads to fear and loathing in late modernity as people fight for their position within the capitalist political economy. Following contemporary developments in critical criminology, this paper disputes the academy’s reliance on existing social constructionist accounts for hate crime and instead provides a fully psycho-social account that is able to elucidate hate harms that manifest subjectively, systemically and symbolically in society. In conclusion the paper therefore suggests that hate studies should utilise an approach which acknowledges the hate harms caused when individuals are denied recognition of their need for respect, esteem and love and are therefore prevented from flourishing.


Dr Zoë James is Associate Professor in Criminology at the University of Plymouth, UK. Her key research interests lie in examining hate from a critical perspective with a particular focus on the harms experienced by Gypsies, Travellers and Roma. Zoë’s research has explored how mobility, accommodation, policing and planning have impacted on the lived experience of Gypsies, Travellers and Roma. She has presented her work nationally and internationally and is a board member of the International Network for Hate Studies. Zoë teaches undergraduate and postgraduate students in criminological theory, policing and critical hate studies. She is Associate Head of School for Criminology at the University of Plymouth.

Victims’ Pathways Towards Wellbeing in the Aftermath of Serious Violent Crime

Ms Holly Blackmore1
1University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia

This paper will examine the post-homicide and/or sexual assault experience from the perspective of victims. It will draw upon data from a longitudinal study of victims over 12 months that focused on the effect of the crime, services and support, and monitored changes using semi-structured interviews and self-report psychological measures. The paper will begin by explaining how ‘wellbeing’ was operationalised within the study, and then attempt to contribute towards an understanding of the term from a victim’s perspective. The primary aim of this paper is to map participants’ wellbeing along the various stages of the post-crime journey, from immediately following the crime, throughout the court process, after the offender was sentenced, through to more recently. It concludes by discussing some of the implications of the findings.


Holly Blackmore is currently undertaking her PhD at UNSW Law under the supervision of Professor Janet Chan and Dr Jane Bolitho. Her PhD project investigates victims’ experiences following serious violent crime, with a particular focus on their wellbeing. Previously, Holly completed a BA (Hons) majoring in Criminology and Psychology at UNSW. Holly currently works as a Research Officer at UNSW Law and has worked on several research projects spanning across a range of topics, including legal culture and work stress, data and intelligence in law enforcement and national security, and restorative justice.


Victim memory and psychological response to repeated traumatic events

Miss Natali Dilevski1, Dr  Helen  Paterson1,2, Dr Celine van Golde1,2
1University Of Sydney, Camperdown, Australia, 2Sydney Institute of Criminology, Camperdown, Australia

Domestic violence often involves ongoing and multiple incidents of abuse by the same perpetrator. In legal proceedings, a victim’s testimony about the events is often used as a key piece of evidence. As such, a victim’s memory plays an important role in gathering accurate information about the events. While research investigating adults’ memory for repeated events is still in its infancy, the findings so far suggest that memory for repeated events is qualitatively different from single events, with some findings indicating that people find it difficult to distinguish between incidents that are similar in nature (such as in cases of domestic violence). Furthermore, how people respond to trauma (i.e., post-traumatic stress disorder; PTSD) can impact their memories, with findings indicating that people with PTSD tend to remember trauma events as fragmented, disorganised and lacking a coherent narrative. How this process plays out for repeated traumatic events is still unknown. Therefore, this talk will present a laboratory study that examined memory and psychological responding for repeated traumatic events. In the study, participants were exposed to either a single event or four related events over a four-week period. For each event, participants imagined a hypothetical relationship scenario that consisted of either a domestic violence encounter or a closely matched neutral relationship encounter. After being exposed to the event(s), participants returned a week later to complete a memory test of the event(s) and questionnaires assessing their psychological responses (i.e., post-traumatic stress symptoms). Findings will be discussed in light of theoretical and practical implications.


Natali Dilevski is currently completing a PhD in forensic psychology at the University of Sydney. Her PhD is addressing two main research questions: 1) how do victims remember ongoing and repeated traumatic events (such as domestic violence) and 2) how do trauma responses (such as post-traumatic stress disorder) impact memory and psychological wellbeing. Prior to starting her PhD, Natali worked as a research assistant in the area of cognitive science at the University of Sydney and University of New South Wales.

Anglican Clergy as Victims of Routinized Violent Attacks in Urban and Rural Localities

David Denney1
1Royal Holloway , University Of London, London, United Kingdom

Few studies of everyday violence have considered the nature of violence and its implications for the Anglican clergy. A conventional victimological approach would go no further than to identify the social correlates of victims and perpetrators. Whilst this enables us to establish patterns of violence we need to draw on lifestyle and routine activity to understand this form of violence. In addition, a more critical victimology suggest that we consider the role of socio cultural and macro organisational factors. This paper will describe these approaches in an account of two studies of violence against this occupational group. One study was conducted in 2002 and supported by the ESRC Violence Research Project.  The follow up second study is currently underway and is supported by the UK Home Office and ‘Church Watch’. During the intervening period there have been critical social changes which touch upon the task of being a priest.  Secularisation, the role of women in the Church of England and the advent of social media are changes that will be considered in relation to the perpetration of abuse. This longitudinal element gives a wider view of the changing nature of this form of violence.   The presentation will provide evidence of the degree and type of violence experienced by Anglican clergy in urban and rural locations and their response to abuse. The paper will also describe how the clergy makes sense of everyday violence in these locations and describes how this relates to the public and private worlds that they inhabit.

David Denney is currently Professor of Social and Public Policy and Director of Research in the  School of Law at Royal Holloway, University of London. He has researched and written extensively on aspects of criminal Justice  with reference to vioelnce  rights, risk, mental illness and discriminatory practices. David has also written widely on risk theory from a sociological perspective including articles and a single authored book . He  has chaired the editorial board of the journal ‘Social Policy and Administration’ and still serves as a member of the board. He has also been an assessor for the ESRC. Over the last five years he has  been engaged in a number of international funded projects which seek to understand cyber security, digital identifies and human behavior in a number of governmental and none governmental organizations. He has recently worked with the Cabinet Office on the development of national cyber security policy. He is currently working with Professor Jonathan Gabe on a study of violence perpetrated against the Anglican Clergy



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