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On Patrol: Dealing with the Causes and Consequences of Crime on Campus
Start Date: 2/25/2015Start Time: 1:40 PM
End Date: 2/25/2015

Event Description:

On Patrol: Dealing with the Causes and Consequences of Crime on Campus

February 25, 2015
Department of Sociology- 3232 NH

Black Hawk Hancock , Associate Professor of Sociology 

ABSTRACT: Through an extended case study of a specific Midwestern urban university, this paper addresses the seemingly straightforward function of campus security in the regulation of the normative order between the boundaries of the university’s campus and the surrounding neighborhoods. Drawing on and extending Erving Goffman’s work Relations in Public and Presentation of Self in Everyday Life, this project highlights the ways that Goffman envisioned the maintenance of the “interaction order,” as well as how his concepts of “supportive” and “remedial interchanges” can be used to draw out the ways that geographic, institutional, and symbolic boundaries of educational institutions, are negotiated and reaffirmed (i.e. policed), in relation to their surrounding environments.
Furthermore, by drawing on Goffman’s notion of presentation of self and face-saving techniques, this article also addresses the “face-saving” activities that many campus security officers must engage in on behalf of the university. In doing so, we can see how campus security must euphemize both causes and consequences of crime on campus in order to promote the perception of “safety” and “security” of campus life in relation to its surrounding neighborhoods. Therefore, this study offers three contributions:one) it illuminates the generative use of Goffmanian categories for theorizing everyday life in relation to criminality and territoriality;two) it contributes empirical insights into the concrete, yet unseen ways that campus security functions beyond its "official" role of law enforcement in the informal role of controlling the public perception of the university; three) it raises the possibility that the official purpose of campus security may be undermined by the university’s face-saving procedures which in the end may perpetuate the causes and consequences of crime. 

BIO: Black Hawk Hancock is an associate professor of sociology at DePaul University. Rich in theory and empirically-informed, Hancock's research examines the relationships between race, culture, and identity in everyday life. His book, "American Allegory: Lindy Hop and the Racial Imagination" (University of Chicago Press, 2013), explores race/racism as a decidedly embodied cultural practice and process through a look at popular dance. He has also published in such journals as Ethnography, Qualitative Sociology,and the Journal of Contemporary Ethnography.

Location Information:
North Hall  (View Map)
445 West 59th Street
New York, NY 10019

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