Sunday, September 4, 2016

Call for LSA panels on big data, risk and technology

Posted c/o Rob Werth:

For the 2017 LSA meetings in Mexico City, we (Kelly Hannah-Moffat, Ben Fleury-Steiner, Paula Maurutto, and Robert Werth) are putting together a series of (2-3) panels for the thematic session “Punishment, society and technology: Exploring big data, risk and emerging techniques of crime control.”  We are looking for papers that engage with ongoing debates from a variety of disciplines, including criminology, sociolegal studies, anthropology, law, science and technology studies, and other interdisciplinary fields. We encourage both theoretically engaged submissions and empirically-based work. The panels will be co-sponsored by the Punishment & Society and Ethnography, Law & Society collaborative research networks. The papers included in these panels may be included in a special issue of a journal or edited collection.  If you believe your current project would make a good fit, please send us a title and short abstract (approx. 1 page) by September 21st via email to: Robert Werth at: rwerth@rice.edu .  Below is an outline of the thematic statement for this series of panels, and email questions to any one of us at:  hannah.moffat@utoronto.ca, p.maurutto@utoronto.ca, bfs@udel.edu, or rwerth@rice.edu

Punishment, society and technology:  Exploring big data, risk and emerging techniques of crime control

Desires to leverage technology and data in the governance of crime and security are increasingly pervasive. “Big data” analytics are contributing to the development of new understandings of risk, surveillance and crime control as well as producing new technologies which are being used by police, courts, prisons, and probation/parole agencies, as well as numerous non-state actors (ranging from halfway houses to credit card fraud departments). The sheer volume of data and advances in technological adaptations is extraordinary, and the ways in which these impact regimes of control remains opaque. Indeed, social scientists have not sufficiently explored, documented and theorized the effects of big data analytics and related technologies on institutions, communities and individuals. This series of panels will explore big data analytics and emergent/shifting technologies – examining their dispersal, operation and interaction with existing techniques, logics, and means for governing crime and security. We anticipate that papers will address some of the following questions: How are emergent big data analytics and rationalities intersecting with and impacting risk, surveillance, policing, punishment, crime prevention, law? Do new techniques, instruments and mechanisms reconfigure public-private partnerships, and are they blurring the boundaries between the two? How do these technologies and analytics affect existing race, class, gender, and other inequalities historically endemic to systems of justice?  How do ‘practitioners’ understand, embrace, alter or subvert such technologies?  How do these technologies constitute the rights of individuals in conflict with the law?  How do activist and advocacy groups perceive, contest, and use big data technologies? 
  

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