Governmentality, Case Management and Risk of Young Post-release People.

The following is an abstract for a paper I am presenting at The Australian Sociological Association 2016 conference held at Australian Catholic University.

As a practice of governmentality, case management plays a central role in the control of young people who have been released from a Juvenile Justice Detention Centre. In this context, this paper explores the tensions which exist in the case management of young offenders. It will explore how the practice of case management is accomplished through two governmental technologies. Firstly, is the case mangers role of friend and confidant to their client and, secondly, is the case manager’s role as a mandatory government reporter. It will draw upon preliminary data and analysis of a PhD research project which aims to explore the experiences of young people leaving Juvenile Justice Detention Centres. This paper will focus upon 8 qualitative interviews with case managers who work with post-release young people. Preliminary findings highlight the practices and discourses of case management whereby youth workers must exercise discipline through the development of interpersonal technologies of rapport and trust in order to manage the risk subject.

Mapping Safe(r) Spaces: Trans and Non-Binary Inclusion within Higher Education Pedagogy

Megan Sharp and I will be presenting a paper at next week’s Postgraduate Queer Research Evening hosted by NUPSA. The paper is based around our experiences working with Trans and Non-Binary students in enabling programs.

Existing research on trans, genderqueer and non-binary students in tertiary settings is overwhelmingly limited. Very few studies have been conducted to evaluate student experience in an Australian context and when such data has been collected, the scope extends to the LGBTIQA spectrum rather than focussing on gender as an exclusionary praxis within academic settings. Such an approach, while understandable in contexts where trans, genderqueer and non-binary student enrolment is low, becomes problematic because it assumes that the issues of all LGBTIQA students fit neatly together. This is particularly the case in countries such as Australia, where some progress around same-sex attraction has been made and a sense of achievement around issues like policies against homophobic bullying can cause advocates to relax their efforts, when the separate needs of trans-spectrum youth may still be getting overlooked (Jones & Hillier 2013: 288). The purpose of this paper is to explore the global context of trans, genderqueer and non-binary student experience while highlighting the need for trans specific, localised research and deliverable staff and student outcomes. Furthermore, the paper extends to pragmatic classroom approaches undertaken in Open Foundation programs to foster gender inclusive safe(r) spaces.

Post-release becomings of youth who have participated in crime.

Below is the abstract for a paper I will be presenting as part of the Newcastle Youth Studies Group Invitational Symposium: Theories and Concepts in Youth Studies. I will be presenting my PhD project as a work-in-progress at the Postgraduate Workshop on the 23rd July 2015.

This presentation will detail the developing conceptual framework of ‘post-release becoming’ to be used within the PhD thesis: Post-release becomings of youth who have participated in crime. It will briefly describe the pragmatics of the research, such as undertaking qualitative interviews with both youth workers of post-release services and young people, aged between 18 and 25, who have been released from juvenile detention centres. This presentation will acknowledge the current literature of crime and the biographical movements of youth before conceptualising the framework of post-release becoming. It will explore transpersonal principles of action, or how a person’s experiences are mediated through the embodiment of affective potentials embedded within social processes that exceed the person. However, this presentation will also detail how a Bourdieusian lens is being used within the thesis in order to analyse the social class and capitals of the participants. As such, this presentation will examine the tensions which exist by using two different ontologies. Subsequently, this paper will show how the proposed thesis will provide an analysis of youth who are transitioning to life outside of the detention centre.

Hegemonic Masculinity and Humour in Prison Work.

The following is an abstract for a paper I am presenting at The Australian Sociological Association 2014 conference held at the University of South Australia.

Humour is a communicative performance of order and control within the prison. It can serve to reinforce the formal institutional and institutionalised symbolic roles of the corrective regime. This research provides a snapshot into Australia’s major form of societal regulation: the prison system. Often described as the gatekeepers of society, to date little research has examined the work of prison officers. This paper focuses on how prison officers negotiate their work through humour. It was discovered that humour was so engrained into prison culture that many officers did not realise that they were using it in their work. When given the chance to reflect upon this in the interviews, it was uncovered that humour was used in a variety of ways both between and in-between officers and prisoners. Most importantly, it was found to endorse performances of masculinity. The symbolic positions of the dominant prison guard and the subordination of the prisoner were enacted through hegemonic masculinity. The performance of humour in this manner became a tool of survival and defence. For example, it allowed an officer to perform a ‘quick quip’ in response to a prisoner while simultaneously bringing prisoner ‘back into line’ and reinforcing their dominance. Furthermore, the ‘us and them’ relationship that existed in the prison could be momentarily dispelled through such performances. It allowed the social actors to joke amongst themselves and share ideas without committing to serious affirmations. However, the joking relationship was carefully managed so that prison officers still held the power in the humorous exchange.