Advertisement

Problematizing School Discipline and Struggling for Verstehen

  • John J. Brent
Chapter

Abstract

This chapter reflects on an ethnographic case study examining the institutional culture underpinning school discipline and punishment. More specifically, it offers personal experiences related to the interpretive process of gaining verstehen—an empathetic understanding that is fundamental to ethnographic and qualitative work. In doing so, it highlights that the process of appreciating lived experiences, emotive frameworks, and individual motivations may be much more dynamic and complex than often written about in texts, publications, and peer-reviewed articles. This chapter also discusses how the relationship between the researcher and research topic can impact processes of understanding. Lastly, it concludes by outlining the significance of ethnographic methods and empathy for criminological research, policy implications, and opportunities for change.

Keywords

Ethnography Verstehen School discipline Punishment Education 

References

  1. Addington, L. A. (2009). Cops and cameras in public school security as a policy response to columbine. American Behavioral Scientist, 52(10), 1426–1446.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Casella, R. (2006). Selling us the fortress: The promotion of techno-security equipment for schools. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  3. Charmaz, K. (2006). Constructing grounded theory: A practical guide through qualitative analysis. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  4. Copes, H., & Miller, J. M. (Eds.). (2015). The Routledge handbook of qualitative criminology. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  5. Fabelo, T., Thompson, M., Plotkin, M., Carmichal, D., Marbanks, M., & Booth, E. (2011). Breaking schools’ rules: A statewide study of how school discipline relates to students’ success and juvenile justice involvement. New York: Council of State Governments Justice Center and Public Policy Research Institute.Google Scholar
  6. Ferrell, J. (1997). Criminological verstehen: Inside the immediacy of crime. Justice Quarterly, 14(1), 3–23.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Ferrell, J., & Hamm, M. S. (Eds.). (1998). Ethnography at the edge: Crime, deviance, and field research. Boston: Northeastern University Press.Google Scholar
  8. Ferrell, J., Hayward, K., & Young, J. (2008). Cultural criminology. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  9. Glaser, B. G., & Strauss, A. L. (1967). The discovery of grounded theory. Chicago: Aldine.Google Scholar
  10. Hirschfield, P. (2008). Preparing for prison: The criminalization of school discipline in the USA. Theoretical Criminology, 12, 79–101.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Hirschfield, P., & Celinska, K. (2011). Beyond fear: Sociological perspectives on the criminalization of school discipline. Sociology Compass, 5(1), 1–12.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Kupchik, A. (2010). Homeroom security: School discipline in an age of fear. New York: New York University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Losen, D. J., & Martinez, T. E. (2013). Out of school and off track: The overuse of suspensions in American middle and high schools. Los Angeles: The UCLA Center for Civil Rights Remedies at the Civil Rights Project.Google Scholar
  14. Mitchum, P., & Moodie-Mills, A. C. (2014). Beyond bullying: How hostile school climate perpetuates the school-to-prison pipeline for LGBT youth. Washington, DC: Center for American Progress.Google Scholar
  15. Mowen, T. J. (2015). Parental involvement in school and the role of school security measures. Education and Urban Society, 47(7), 830–848CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Robers, S., Zhang, J., Truman, J., & Snyder, T. (2013). Indicators of school crime and safety: 2013. Washington, DC: US Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics and US Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics.Google Scholar
  17. Weber, M. (1978). Economy and society: An outline of interpretive sociology (Vol. 1). Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  18. Young, J. (2011). The criminological imagination. Cambridge, England: Polity Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Justice Studies, College of Justice and SafetyEastern Kentucky UniversityRichmondUSA

Personalised recommendations