NZ : Public lecture explores the community impacts of hate crime

The community impact of hate crime is the topic of a public lecture at the University of Auckland next month.

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Professor Barbara Perry’s lecture “It could have been me”: Community impacts of hate crime, will talk about how an act of hate directed at a person affects not just the immediate victim but the community also.

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“My findings suggest that, in many ways, awareness of violence directed toward another within an identifiable target group, yields strikingly similar patterns of emotional and behavioural responses among vicarious victims,” Professor Perry says.

Professor Perry, an Associate Dean of Social Science and Humanities at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology, will discuss how hate crime can change the behaviours of the initial victim and the wider community.

“They, too, note a complex syndrome of reactions, including shock, anger, fear/vulnerability, inferiority, and a sense of the normativity of violence,” she says.

“They often engage in subsequent behavioural shifts, such as changing patterns of social interaction. On a positive note, there is also some evidence that these reactions can culminate not in withdrawal, but in the potential for community mobilisation.

“Violence against some communities – Muslim, immigrant, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer in particular – is increasingly reported. This may be because there is a greater likelihood of victims coming forward.”

The lecture will discuss the growth and impact of online hate in the form of websites associated with organised hate groups, hostile blogs, and online harassment of targeted communities.

Professor Perry has written extensively on hate crime, including several books on the topic, among them, In the Name of Hate: Understanding Hate Crime; and Hate and Bias Crime: A Reader. She has also published in the area of Native American victimisation and social control, including one book entitled The Silent Victims: Native American Victims of Hate Crime, based on interviews with Native Americans (University of Arizona Press).

Professor Perry has also written a related book on policing Native American communities, Policing Race and Place: Under- and Over-Enforcement in Indian Country (Lexington Press). She was the General Editor of a five volume set on hate crime (Praeger), and editor of Volume 3: Victims of Hate Crime of that set.

Most recently, she has contributed to a scholarly understanding of anti-Muslim violence, hate crime against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer, communities, and the community impacts of hate crime. She is currently engaged in a Kanishka funded project on right-wing extremism in Canada.

The public lecture will be held on Thursday 12 June at 6pm, Case Room 1 (Room 260-005) Owen G Glenn Building, University of Auckland.

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