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Jayne Price

Jayne Price, Lecturer in Criminology, and one of the event organisers.

The University’s Criminology team supported the organisation of the postgraduate event, which was funded by the British Society of Criminology (BSC) Postgraduate Committee as part of its ‘thinking differently’ series.

The ambiguous nature of ‘social harm’ as a concept within the social sciences was used to allow speakers to openly interpret this theme in relation to any specific criminological area of interest. The focus on the day considered the very real consequences that marginalised groups face.

The BSC Postgraduate seminar series aims to bring together academics and practitioners to explore contemporary issues in criminology critically. The seminars are a space for postgraduates to contribute to challenging ‘taken-for-granted’ thinking in criminology and criminal justice.

The two keynote speakers were Dr Vicky Canning from the University of Bristol, who discussed the harms of those held in deportation centres in Europe; and Dr Holly White from the University of Chester’s Department of Social and Political Science, whose presentation focused on the political narratives of socially harmful issues. She highlighted how inaccurate representations and withholding of knowledge can attain support and legitimise injustices such as austerity.

One of the organisers, Jayne Price, Lecturer in Criminology at the University of Chester, said: “Postgraduate speakers covered a range of issues associated with why some people are more at risk of harm, including asylum seekers, migrant workers, and young people. The discussion that arose from the day was focused on the issue of safeguarding: how individuals who are subject to social harms are vulnerable and require support, however, they are often positioned within society as problematic and at odds with values held.

“We very much hope that the conversation will continue, to evoke change and fundamentally provide opportunities to help those who are being harmed within society.”

The day was well attended by postgraduates from a range of universities from across the country. Attendees included postgraduates, lecturers and those drawn from professional practice.

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