Neo-Colonial Practices and Narratives in Criminological Research

Deckert, Antje
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This chapter is based on a decade of research into neo-colonial scholarly practices and academic narratives about Indigenous peoples that emerge from elite criminology journals. Discussed are research findings related to three such neo-colonial practices and narratives: the relative silence on the mass incarceration of Indigenous peoples; the overuse of silencing research methods when studying justice-involved Indigenous people; and the use of assimilation narratives. It is argued that the dearth of mainstream criminological narratives on the mass incarceration of Indigenous people contributes to and reflects the inadequate public attention paid to this social issue, perpetuates colourblind narratives of criminal justice, and undermines decolonization efforts in criminology. The dearth of research is exacerbated by the fact that silencing research methods continue to dominate criminological studies on (not with) justice-involved Indigenous people published in elite mainstream criminology journals. One of the overarching narratives that thus emerges from these academic journals is the claim that truthful knowledge about Indigenous people in the context of the criminal legal system can be obtained without involving Indigenous voices. Lastly, it is argued that the narrative disappearing of Indigenous peoples into categories such as ‘non-White’ or ‘other’ constitutes a narrative micro-aggression.

In: The Routledge International Handbook on Decolonizing Justice edited by Cunneen C, Deckert A, Porter A, Tauri J, Webb R
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