Dark matters - Angus Bancroft's teaching and research

Individuated and embedded users in the heroin moral economy

Detailed ethnographic work (Bourgois 1998, Wakeman, 2015) has shown the rich, complex set of reciprocal obligations and responsibilities by which heroin users in marginal social and economic circumstances maintain a moral economy. The moral economy is instrumental and emotionally bound, locking users into norms of reciprocity and sharing, distributing resources …

Simulated theory – Engaging students creatively in doing sociological theory

Students taking sociology courses are can be very successful at absorbing empirical data and understanding the dynamics of everyday life in relation to topics of gender, class, ethnicity and so on. As my colleague Ralph Fevre and myself noticed, students often understood theoretical frameworks well but have difficulty moving between …

Discover lives as lived: create puzzlement and elaborate your bafflement

The researcher stance should be one of polite but informed puzzlement and a willingness to learn from the world. A few of the posts I have been writing are about different ways to spark your curiosity. It is that willingness to push beyond face value answers and assumptions that is …

Reading list for June

This month was mainly spent reviewing references for a paper on darknet markets and illicit drug diffusion. It’s a fine thing to see the academic discussion developing alongside the maturing practices of this illicit market segment. Informative recent paper on where things have been and where it looks like they …

An introvert’s guide to the academic conference. Yes, ‘conference’ means ‘converse’ so saddle up

… it just happens to be one where everyone is silently watching, and judging 👍 To the introvert an academic conference is like being at a party where there is just one person you feel comfortable talking to. Your mission is to work out who they are without interacting with …

Strategies for developing research into digital crime

The field of crime and public policy is at a critical turning point. There are new threats such as the rise and commodification of disinformation in the public square, the emergence of distributed criminal infrastructures and organisations that drive cybercrime, and new technologies and platforms that facilitate criminal activity. New …

Digital drug markets as territories

Introduction This paper theorises drug markets through the concept of digital territory. I hypothesis that territorialisation is a critical process involving onshoring and binding the market as a virtual, bounded place. The availability of controlled substances is mediated through two broad and interrelated distribution types. Social supply between friends and …

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