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Academic Staff

Professor Eamonn Carrabine

Position in departmentProfessor
Staff positionProfessor
Telephone3038 (non Essex users should add 01206-87 to the beginning of this number)
Academic support hoursBy appointment

Eamonn joined the department in 1998 and has published broadly in criminology and sociology. He currently serves as an editor on the British Journal of Criminology, and is an international advisory editor on Theoretical Criminology. From 2015 Michele Brown (University of Tennessee) and Eamonn have been editing Crime, Media, Culture. He has been an external examiner for the degree programmes at Goldsmiths College, University of London (Sociology), Roehampton University (Criminology) and the University of Salford (criminology), while he is currently the external examiner for the MA in Criminology at the University of Nottingham. He was also a member of HEFCE’s Sociology sub-panel that assessed the quality of research for the 2014 Research Excellence Framework. Along with Chris Greer (City), Yvonne Jewkes (Leicester) and Tony Kearon (Keele), were awarded funding from the ESRC [ES/J022381/1] for a Seminar Series led by Ronnie Lippens (Keele), to explore ‘Visual criminology: crime, criminal justice and the image’, involving international speakers from the US, Canada and Australia. The seminars ran from 2013-14, and one event was held here at Essex in Wivenhoe House. More recently Eamonn has also been awarded a Leverhulme Trust Major Research Fellowship to research his project 'The Iconography of Punishment: From Renaissance to Modernity', which will run for three years and began in 2015. He was elected a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in 2016.


BA (Hull) MSc PhD (Salford)

Current research

Eamonn has completed writing a book on Crime and Social Theory and unlike many of the books on this topic, the work concentrates on how aspects of social theory illuminate key problems in criminology. It avoids presenting theoretical work in a series of discrete chapters in which theories seem to be entirely cut off from one another and divorced from any direct relationship with empirical research.  Instead it aims to advance current understandings of crime, order and security so that more convincing explanations of complex social processes can be generated.The book provides an account of the social theories on which studies of crime and its control inevitably rest. Either implicitly or explicitly every such study, no matter how resolutely steeped in narrow, technical issues, is also grounded in larger, more theoretical understandings of how social worlds operate. One of the consequences of the striking expansion of criminology over the last twenty-five years or so has been the development of distinct specialisms and the invention of an entire criminological tradition. Consequently the book explores the sociological implications of such growth and the challenges it presents to the intellectual jurisdiction of the discipline.

His next major project is the work on The Iconography of Punishment: From Rennaisance to Modernity, which has been awarded a Leverhulme Major Research Fellowship, and began in 2015. The work focuses on how punishment has been represented in the literary and visual arts and it intervenes in the recent turn to cultural analyses in the sociology of punishment.  Work from this project has already been published in The Prison Service Journal, and a more extended treatment of the issues is covered in his chapter on 'Telling Prison Stories' in an edited collection on The Arts of Imprisonment, while the distinctive ethical problems posed by visual criminology are addressed in an article for the British Journal of Criminology. This paper was awarded the Radzinowicz prize for 2012 by the journal. A further paper on 'Images of Torture' has been published in Crime, Media, Culture. This piece examines the debates provoked by the notorious Abu Ghraib photos and those produced in the wake of the scandal. These arguments have been developed in a recent article in Theoretical Criminology, which focusses on four images that are among the most astonoshing images to have survived Auschwitz, providing disturbing visual evidence of the "crime of crimes".

The overall aim of the project is to trace the iconography of punishment over some 500 years, to identify how certain motifs are stored in collective memory and to explain why some have persisted for so long, while others have disappeared. In this way we can better understand the ties between the past and the present, which are often closer and stranger than we might think. The research will combine readings in social theory, art history and philosophy, as well as the historiography of distinctive periods with extensive and original archival work in local and national collections.


Research interests

Eamonn is particularly interested in supervising postgraduate research in the following areas:

  • Crime and the Media
  • Cultural and Social Geography
  • Popular Music and Sociological Thinking
  • Punishment and Human Rights
  • Sociology of Imprisonment
  • Visual Sociology
  • Youth Culture

This is only intended to be an indicative list and I am happy to discuss ideas with potential research students. 

Teaching responsibilities

Over the years Eamonn has designed and taught the following modules: 


SC205 Punishment, Justice and Modernity
SC206 Crime, Media and Culture
SC242 Sociology of Crime and Control
SC301 Current Disputes in Sociology
SC304 The Criminological Imagination
SC310 Youth Culture: Crime, Consumption and the City


SC914 Contemporary Debates in Criminology
SC916 Criminological Research Methods

Research Student Supervision

• Hua-Fu Hsu (2002) 'Penality Beyond the West: The Experience of Imprisonment in Taiwan'

• Gareth Millington (2006) 'Racism, Community, Place: Inside the Ethnoscapes of Southend-on-Sea (ESRC funded)

• James Ormrod (2006) 'The Pro-Space Movement in the 21st Century: A Sociological and Psychoanalytic Study of Space Advocacy and Activism' (ESRC funded)

• Emma Bond (2008) 'Children's Perceptions of Mobile Phones and Risk in their Everyday Lives' (co-supervised with Dr. Becky Ellis)

• Elisabeth Carter (2008) ‘Policing Talk: An Investigation in to the Interaction of the Officer and the Suspect in Police Interviews’ (ESRC Funded).

• Natalie Mann (2008) 'Doing Harder Time? The Experiences of an Ageing Prison Population' (ESRC funded).

• Jennifer Bullen(2010) 'Media Representations of Footballers Wives' (ESRC funded, co-supervised with Prof. Pam Cox)

• Jennifer Murphy (2011) 'Contextualizing Parolee Reintegration: Narrative Themes in Community Re-engagement in Two Cities in the Southern Interior of British Columbia, Canada' (co-supervised with Prof. Nigel South)

• Yen Wan-Chen (2012) ‘Governing Sex, Building the Nation: The Politics of Prostitution in Postcolonial Taiwan’ (co-supervised with Prof. Pam Cox)

• Allison Boggis (2012) '"Deafening Silences": Listening to Inarticulate Children and Young People'.

• Pimporn Netrabukkana (2016) 'Rehabilitation in Thailand’

Supervision of full-time doctoral students:

• William McClanahan 'Extractive Cultures in America and England' (co-supervising with Prof Nigel South)

• Kate West ‘Cesare Lombroso and the Visual Origins of Criminology’ (co-supervising with Prof Mary Bosworth, University of Oxford)

Part-time doctoral student:

• Gemma Mackman 'The Sociology of Festivals'


      Power, Discourse and Resistance


Brisman, A., E. Carrabine and N. South (eds.) (in press) Routledge Companion to Criminological Theory and Concepts, (London, Routledge)

Brown, M. and E. Carrabine (eds.) (in press) Routledge International Handbook of Visual Criminology, (London, Routledge).

Carrabine, E. Crime and Social Theory, (London, Palgrave, 2017)

Carrabine, E., P. Cox, P. Fussey, D. Hobbs, N. South, D. Thiel and J. Turton, Criminology: A Sociological Introduction, (London, Routledge, 2014) 3rd Edition.

Carrabine, E. Crime, Culture and the Media (Cambridge, Polity, 2008).

Carrabine, E. Power, Discourse and Resistance: A Genealogy of the Strangeways Prison Riot. (Dartmouth, Ashgate, 2004).

Carrabine, E., P. Cox, M. Lee and N. South (2002) Crime in Modern Britain, (Oxford, Oxford University Press)

Journal Articles and Book Chapters

Carrabine, E. (in press) 'Punishment in the Frame: Rethinking the History and Sociology of Art', in The Sociological Review.

Carrabine, E. (in press) ‘Crime e Mídia’, in Carlen, P. and L. França (eds.) Criminologias Alternativas, Paraná, Brazil: Iea Editora.

Carrabine, E. (in press) ‘Iconic Power, Dark Tourism and the Spectacle of Suffering’, in Hodgkinson, S., J. Piché, K. Walby and J. Z. Wilson (eds.) The Palgrave Handbook of Prison Tourism, London: Palgrave.

Carrabine, E. (in press) ‘Social Science and Visual Culture’, in Brown, M. and E. Carrabine (eds.) Routledge International Handbook of Visual Criminology, (London, Routledge).

Carrabine, E. (in press) ‘Art and its Unruly Histories: Old and New Formations’, in Brown, M. and E. Carrabine (eds.) Routledge International Handbook of Visual Criminology, (London, Routledge).

Carrabine, E. (2016) 'Changing Fortunes: Criminology and the Sociological Condition', in Sociology.Vol. 50, No.5, pp.847-62.

Carrabine, E. (2016) 'Picture This: Criminology, Image and Narrative', in Crime, Media, Culture, Vol. 12, No. 2, pp.253-270.

Carrabine, E. (2016) ‘Representing the Prison’, in Bennett, J., B. Crewe and Y. Jewkes (eds.) Handbook on Prisons, (London, Routledge)

Carrabine, E. (2016) ‘Doing Visual Criminology: Learning from Documentary, Journalism and Sociology’, in Jacobsen, M. and S. Walklate (eds) Liquid Criminology: Doing Imaginative Criminological Research (Dartmouth, Ashgate).

Carrabine, E. (2015) ‘Contemporary Criminology and the Sociological Imagination’, in Frauley, J. (ed.) C. Wright Mills and the Criminological Imagination, Dartmouth, Ashgate.

Carrabine, E. (2015) ‘Visual Criminology: History, Theory and Method’, in Copes, H. and M. Miller (eds.) The Routledge Handbook of Qualitative Criminology New York, Routledge.

Carrabine, E. (2014) 'Seeing Things: Violence, Voyeurism and the Camera', in Theoretical Criminology Vol. 18, No.2, pp.134-158.
This article is in a special issue on ‘Visual Culture and the Iconography of Crime and Punishment’ I co-edited with Michelle Brown, University of Tennessee.

Carrabine, E. (2014) 'Criminology, Deviance and Sociology', in Holmwood, J. and J. Scott (eds.) The Palgrave Handbook of Sociology in Britain, Palgrave Macmillan.

Carrabine, E. (2013) 'Crime, Culture and the Media in a Globalizing World', in Arrigo, B. and H. Bersot (eds.) The Routledge Handbook of International Crime and Justice Studies, Routledge.

Carrabine, E. (2012) 'Just Images: Aesthetics, Ethics and Visual Criminology', in British Journal of Criminology, Vol. 52, No.3, pp. 463-489. Awarded the Radzinowicz prize for 2012 by the journal.

Carrabine, E. (2011) 'The Iconography of Punishment: Execution Prints and the Death Penalty', in the Howard Journal of Criminal Justice, Vol. 50, No. 5, pp.452-464.

Carrabine, E. (2011) ‘Images of Torture: Culture, Politics and Power', in Crime, Media, Culture, Vol. 7, No.1, pp.5-30.
Reprinted in Hughes, J (ed.) (2012) SAGE Visual Methods, London: Sage.

Carrabine, E. (2011) ‘Telling Prison Stories: The Spectacle of Punishment and the Criminological Imagination’, in Cheliotis, L. (ed.) The Arts of Imprisonment: Essays on Control, Resistance and Empowerment. (Ashgate)

Carrabine, E. (2010) 'Imagining Prison: Culture, History, Space', in Prison Service Journal, No. 187, Jan. pp.15-22.  The paper can be accessed at:

Carrabine, E. (2007) ‘Popular Music’ in Edwards, T. (ed.) Cultural Theory (Sage).

Carrabine, E., (2006) ‘Punishment, Rights and Justice’ in Morris, L. (ed.) Rights: Sociological Perspectives (Routledge).

Carrabine, E., (2005) ‘Prison Riots, Social Order and the Problem of Legitimacy’ in British Journal of Criminology, 45:6, pp.896-913.

Carrabine, E. and B. Longhurst (2002) ‘Consuming the Car: Anticipation, Use and Meaning in contemporary youth culture’, in Sociological Review, 50:2, pp. 181-197.

Bosworth, M and E. Carrabine (2001) ‘Reassessing Resistance: Race, Gender and Sexuality in Prison’ in Punishment and Society, 3:4,pp.501-515.
Reprinted in Britton, D. (ed.) (2005) Gender and Prison, Dartmouth: Ashgate.

Carrabine, E., M. Lee and N. South (2000) ‘Social Wrongs and Human Rights: Some Recent Causes for Concern in Britain’ in Social Justice, 27:2, pp. 193-211.

Carrabine, E., (2000) ‘Discourse, Governmentality and Translation: Toward a Social Theory of Imprisonment’ in Theoretical Criminology, 4:38, pp. 309-331.

Carrabine, E. and B. Longhurst (2000) ‘What Difference does a Course Make? Music, Education and Everyday Life’ in Journal of Popular Music Studies, 1997-1998, 9-10 pp. 79-91.

Carrabine, E. and B. Longhurst (1999) ‘Mosaics of Omnivorousness: Suburban Youth and Popular Music’, in New Formations, 38 pp.125-140.

Carrabine, E. and B. Longhurst (1998) ‘Gender and Prison Organisation: Some Comments on Masculinities and Prison Management’, in the Howard Journal of Criminal Justice, 37:2 pp.161-176.
Reprinted in Britton, D. (ed.) (2005) Gender and Prison, Dartmouth: Ashgate.


Some recent ones include:

Carrabine, E. ‘Reading Pictures: Art History and the Sociology of Punishment’, Paper presented at the American Society of Criminology conference, November 2016, New Orleans, Louisiana.

Carrabine, E. 'Picture This: Criminology, Image and Narrative'. Paper presented at the Centre for Criminology and Criminal Justice, University of Hull, 9 March 2016.

Carrabine, E. ‘The Iconography of Punishment’, invited to give the annual undergraduate Sociology lecture, Goldsmiths College, University of London, 8 Dec 2015. 

Carrabine, E. ‘Diane Arbus, Deviant Sociology and Visual Culture’, Paper presented at the American Society of Criminology conference, November 2015, Washington, DC. 

Carrabine, E. ‘On Impact’ invited to give a plenary at University Campus Suffolk Research and Scholarly Activity Day, 24 June 2015, Ipswich. 

Carrabine, E. ‘Doing Visual Criminology’ invited to give a plenary at the Netherlands Society of Criminology Conference, 11-12 June, Leiden. 

Carrabine, E. ‘Doing Criminological Research’ invited to speak at the first Irish Postgraduate Criminology Conference, 27 March 2015, Dublin. 

Carrabine, E. ‘Diane Arbus, Deviant Sociology and Visual Culture’ presented at a ‘Cafés des Artistes’ public discussion evening on 10 March 2015 at Kirkaldy art gallery, who hosted a Diane Arbus show from 14 February to 31 May 2015. 

Carrabine, E. ‘Representing the Prison: Documentary and the Iconography of Punishment’, Paper presented at the American Society of Criminology conference, November 2014, San Francisco, California.

Carrabine, E. ‘Iconoclasm, Hope and Imagination’. Invited to give plenary at the British Society of Criminology conference, University of Liverpool, July 2014.

Carrabine, E. ‘Contemporary Criminology and the Sociological Imagination’. Invited to give plenary at the National Deviancy Conference, University of Teeside, June 2014.

Carrabine, E. ‘Picture This: Criminology, the Archive and Narrative Analysis’. Invited to present a paper at the First International Symposium on Narrative Criminology, University of Oslo, May 2014.

Carrabine, E. ‘Seeing Things: Violence, Voyeurism and the Camera’ Paper presented at the Visual Criminology ESRC Seminar, February 2014, University of Leicester.

Carrabine, E. 'Crime, Representation and Social Theory'. Paper presented at the American Society of Criminology Conference, November 2013, Atlanta.

Carrabine, E. 'The Iconography of Crime and Punishment'. Plenary presentation at the Postgraduate Criminology Conference, August 2013, University of Oxford.

Carrabine, E. 'Seeing Things: Violence, Voyeurism and the Camera'. Paper presented at the American Society of Criminology conference, November 2012, Chicago.

Carrabine, E. 'Seeing Things: Violence, Voyeurism and the Camera'. Invited to give a seminar at All Souls Criminology Seminar Series, University of Oxford, October 2012.

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