'The Other’ - International Cultural Criminology Conference


VU University Amsterdam

'The Other’ - International Cultural Criminology Conference

Faculty of Law


Conference / Symposium

the Other

In defining, categorizing, labelling and targeting offenders, criminologists try to get a grip on crime. Important studies such as ‘Outsiders’ (Howard Becker, 1963), ‘The Established and the Outsiders’ (Norbert Elias & John Scotson, 1965) and ‘The Exclusive Society’ (Jock Young 1999) have pointed to mechanisms that help understand why studying ‘the other’ is key to criminology, as well as to other social sciences. ‘The other’ changes over time, he or she has qualities that relate to history and structure. How do we find out and learn about ‘the other’? Is ‘the other’ remote or close, alien or in every one of us? Why a 'selfie'?

Keynote speakers

  • Jack Katz (UCLA, USA), author of ´Seductions of Crime´ (1988), the monumental book at the root of Cultural Criminology. He has written books and articles on methodology for qualitative sociologists. His current crime-related research is into episodes of anarchy and into intimate massacres (some of which ‘school shootings’). 
  • Jeff Ferrell (Texas Christian University, USA/University of Kent, UK) is one of the leading names in Cultural Criminology. Among his many books is Cultural Criminology: An Invitation, written with Keith Hayward and Jock Young, and winner of the 2009 Distinguished Book Award from the American Society of Criminology’s Division of International Criminology.

In his keynote, Jack Katz will take the approach he used at a micro level and apply it to collective behavior in 'episodes of anarchy', examining events in Los Angeles in spring, 1992 (the 'Rodney King riots') as a case study. The emphasis will be on the distinctive interactions through which participants interpret actions of the generalized, anonymous, collective other to start, sustain and cease engaging in the events usually glossed as 'riots'. Comparisons will be made to crowd events in the wake of the Ferguson police shooting.

In his keynote, Jeff Ferrell will look at ‘the other’ as a cultural and legal construction, that hides the lived experiences of marginalized groups in two ways: first, through the hyper-visibility of mediated caricatures that mask and distort such human experiences, and second, through the invisibility of such experiences as they are pushed outside of public space and public life. Because of this, finding ‘the other’ requires critical engagement with mediated dynamics and visual cultures, but also new forms of ethnographic research attuned to invisibility and absence – methods that we might call ‘ghost ethnography’ or ‘interstitial ethnography’.

Download the booklet with Program, Keynotes, Panels, Speakers, and Abstracts

Conference fee

Standard academic: 220 Euro
PhD student: 75 Euro
Participation is no longer possible. Registration is closed.

Contact & route description > 

Information on the conference will also be available on Facebook: www.facebook.com/tijdschriftovercultuurencriminaliteit