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WHAT DOES BEING GAY HAVE TO DO WITH IT? A FEMINIST ANALYSIS OF THE JUBRAN CASE
Department of Sociology, York University
Azmi Jubran was subjected to homophobic harassment throughout his high school experience. In 1996, he filed a human rights complaint against the Vancouver School Board alleging discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation. His case was the first in Canada to deal with the issue of school responsibility for peer-to-peer harassment. It also makes a significant contribution to the jurisprudence in the realm of sexual orientation harassment and discrimination. This is because Jubran did not identify as homosexual. Using a critical feminist analysis, this paper analyzes the decisions and opinions of the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal, Superior Court and Court of Appeal regarding the relevance of sexual orientation identity and the recognition of harm in the case. Drucilla Cornell’s concept of sexual shame, Gail Mason’s linking of sexuality harassment to visibility and naming, and Judith Butler’s discussion of the power of words to injure are discussed in relation to the case as to whether it would qualify as harassment under these conceptualizations. It is argued that while the precedent carries the possibility of eliminating homophobia in schools, there are significant concerns with the legalistic human rights mechanism that potentially undermine efforts to eliminate oppression and achieve social equality.
PRIVATE SECURITY’S PURCHASE: IMAGININGS OF A SECURITY PATROL IN A CANADIAN RESIDENTIAL NEIGHBOURHOOD
Jeffrey Brown and Randy Lippert
Unitersity of Windsor
This paper explores a small residential private security program in an affluent Ontario neighbourhood in which individual residents hired a private firm to provide security patrols. Drawing primarily on in-depth interviews with program subscribers, this exploratory study examines consumers’ imaginings of the private security program and its context. Four key aspects of subscribers’ discourse – exclusivity, security, public and private patrols, and responsibility – are discussed. Through analysis of consumers’ understandings of these issues, we argue that the consumption of private security may be more complex and private security’s purchase on the consumer imagination weaker than earlier theory and research has acknowledged. Based on these findings we suggest more research into private security consumption is required and that neighbourhood-initiated private security programs, especially those without state endorsement or support, are unlikely to proliferate in Canada.
TRENDS IN FEAR OF CRIME IN A WESTERN CANADIAN CITY: 1984, 1994, AND 2004
University of Winnipeg
University of Manitoba
David R. Forde
University of Alabama
Criminologists have shown much interest in the distribution, causes, and consequences of fear of crime but few studies have examined trends in fear. Using data from the Winnipeg Area Study from 1984, 1994, and 2004 and official crime data from the Winnipeg Police Service, we examine trends in fear of crime and compare them to reported crime. Fear of crime is evaluated by using an index compiled from five offence specific indicators that asks how worried people are about becoming victims of theft, burglary, armed robbery, fraud, and sexual assault. Bonferonni procedures and regression methods are used to assess differences in fear of crime. The results show that respondents report low levels of fear of crime over the twenty year period. The results also indicate a lack of correspondence between fear of crime and official measures of crime. These findings challenge the use of fear of crime measures by policy makers seeking to evaluate criminal justice initiatives.
FORENSIC BAREFOOT MORPHOLOGY COMPARISON
Forensic Identification Research Services, Royal Mounted Police
Forensic barefoot morphology comparison refers to the examination of the weight-bearing areas of the human foot, in order to include or exclude suspects in a criminal investigation. Casts or inked impressions of a foot can be compared to bare or socked foot impressions found at a crime scene, or to insoles of footwear linked to a crime scene. The comparison process is similar to that of a tire being compared to a tire track or a shoe being compared to a footwear impression. In order to justify presenting this technique in court, extensive research has been carried out to show the variability of barefoot impressions. Lawyers and investigators should be aware of the existence of this type of comparison, and should consider its use in cases where it is warranted.