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Featured Abstract from #CrimJustAsia17 Conference

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Next year, the Crime and Justice Research Centre will co-host the Crime and Justice in Asia and the Global South International Conference with the Asian Criminological Society. The conference will be held in Cairns from 10-13 July 2017 and will feature international speakers:

  • Professor Rosemary Barberet;
  • Professor Jiahong Liu;
  • Professor John Braithwaite; and
  • Professor Raewyn Connell.

To showcase the diversity of topics that will be presented during the conference, each week the CJRC blog will feature an accepted abstract from a presenter.

This week’s featured abstract is authored by Professor Patricia Faraldo Cabana from the University of A Corunna, Spain, who was recently successful in the second round of CJRC scholarships in southern criminology. More details can be accessed here.

Featured abstract: 

“Scientific excellence and Anglophone dominance”

By Professor Patricia Faraldo Cabana

Scientific excellence is measured in English. Notwithstanding the enormous advantage of having a global language, this paper argues that there is a dramatic and hitherto largely underestimated language effect in the bibliometric, citation-based measurements of research performance in social sciences, and a widely overlooked impact on the contents elaborated in the global South. It explores the idea that English as a global language not only contributes to the advancement of science but also hampers its progress by disregarding the cognitive potential of other languages and experiences.

English is not a lingua franca in the sense of being a non-native language for all its users – as, for instance, was Medieval Latin. It is an asymmetric global language whose benefits are unequally distributed. Non-native speakers have to devote greater efforts than native speakers in language learning and text production, but are still less able to produce linguistically more refined texts with a strong impact on recipients. On the contrary, native speakers constitute an elite class who take advantage of the possibility to think and write in their mother-tongue. They are also the gatekeepers to publishing in English.

This paper aims to explore these inequalities using examples from criminal law and criminology. It will propose alternative ways of reaching scientific excellence with greater fairness. By doing so, both fields will be made more inclusive of patterns of crime, justice, and security outside the boundaries of the global North, contributing to a greater democratization of knowledge.



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