Masterclass 1

Doing Criminological Ethnography


James Treadwell, Birmingham City University and Steve Wakeman, Liverpool John Moores University

Wednesday 5 July 15:15-16:45

Session Overview

This masterclass is about doing ethnographic research in fields related to crime, deviance and/or social control. We argue that, while there are many constants that run through the use of ethnographic methods in the social sciences, their use in criminology is distinctive through the nature of the issues and challenges that they present in this context. The aim of the session is to introduce some of these issues through our own research, and then to collaboratively identify some methods for their potential solution in the current and on-going projects of the class’s attendees. Anyone with an interest in criminological ethnography will hopefully benefit from this session, but it will be of particular use to scholars engaged in (or about to engage in) their first ethnographic project.


James Treadwell is a lecturer in criminology at Birmingham City University. He is a long-term advocate of ethnographic methods in criminology and has conducted ethnographic research with a range of groups including the English Defence League, mixed-martial arts cage-fighters, and within the prison setting as well. He has published extensively around these subjects, and his work is available in the British Journal of Criminology and Criminology & Criminal Justice among others. He tweets as @James_Treadwell

Steve Wakeman is a lecturer in criminology at Liverpool John Moores University. He is one of the few criminologists in the UK to embrace autoethnographic methods in his work, which is specifically focused upon understanding drug addiction. The results of his ethnographic exploration of heroin use in ‘austerity Britain’ can be read in the British Journal of Criminology, Criminology & Criminal Justice, and Critical Criminology. He Tweets as @Steve_Wakeman

Together, James and Steve are currently writing a book entitled ‘Criminological Ethnography: An Introduction’ that is due to be published in 2017 by Sage. This session will preview some of its content and themes.

Key Dates

Friday 23rd June 2017

Conference registration closes

Now closed

Monday 30th January 2017

Call for abstracts

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Monday 30th January 2017

Early bird registration opens

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Friday 12th May 2017

Early bird registration closes

Now closed

Friday 26th May 2017

Call for abstracts closes

Now closed