Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research

Making sense of the social world


 

About

I am a lecturer in Criminology at the University of Kent’s School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research. I am the University of Kent coordinator of the International Common Study Programme in Critical Criminology.

In developing a theory of the active image I have drawn together some aspects of the writings of Marx, Nietzsche, Artaud, Foucault, Barthes, Deleuze and Guattari who, taken together in a particular way, may be seen to develop not only a materialist theory of power and desire as multiplicities but to provide the theoretical infrastructure for a materialist theory of the power in the circulating image, particularly in what we might call photographic production.

My own approach to criminology is to mix creative, cultural, historical, interpretive and critical approaches, particularly those that seek an understanding of power, desire and resistance.

For the sake of a more critically-aware society it is vital that we take a radical approach to the problems of criminalisation and punishment, and the multifarious forms of power and desire invested in them.

My interests took a visual turn when I began to write about the role of photography in crime and punishment, in video-surveillance, mug shots and more generally in our society of spectacle.

Magazine cover "Black mask"
Magazine cover "Le Petit Journal"
Magazine cover "War against Crime!"

Taking a view that photographic representation and presentation is at the heart of the mass-mediated society of spectacle in modernity, I undertook ESRC-funded doctoral studies, completing a thesis entitled The Punitive Gaze, in which I used case studies of photographed bodies in confinement to demonstrate a new critical theory of the mass-media photograph.

My aim was to show that another dimension of the power of the circulating photograph exists in excess of its representation and meaning: a force of practice or performance in and of the image.

Career
Having trained in medicine, during which time I also graduated in medical sociology, I specialised in psychiatry with a particular interest in both psychoanalytic approaches and forensic issues.

Education
I studied my masters in criminology at Middlesex University. I had funded attachments to institutions in Holland (Erasmus University) and Italy (University of Bari) in law and political science departments, respectively.

Contact Information

Address

Room CNE 102
Cornwallis North East
SSPSSR
University of Kent
Canterbury
Kent CT2 7NF

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Publications

Also view these in the Kent Academic Repository

Article
Carney, P. (2015). Foucault's Punitive Society: Visual Tactics of Marking as a History of the Present. British Journal of Criminology [Online] 55:231-247. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/bjc/azu105.
Book section
Carney, P. (2017). Security and counter-security. in: Brisman, A., Carrabine, E. and South, N. eds. The Routledge Companion to Criminological Theory and Concepts. London, UK: Routledge. Available at: https://www.routledge.com/The-Routledge-Companion-to-Criminological-Theory-and-Concepts/Brisman-Carrabine-South/p/book/9781138819009.
Carney, P. (2017). How does the photograph punish? in: Brown, M. and Carrabine, E. eds. Routledge International Handbook of Visual Criminology. London, UK: Routledge. Available at: https://www.routledge.com/Routledge-International-Handbook-of-Visual-Criminology/Brown-Carrabine/p/book/9781138888630.
Carney, P. and Dadusc, D. (2014). Power and Servility. An Experiment in the Ethics of Security and Counter-Security. in: Positive Criminology: Reflections on Care, Belonging and Security. Eleven International Publishing. Available at: http://www.elevenpub.com/criminology/catalogus/positive-criminology-1.
Carney, P. (2012). The Art of Photogenic Torture. in: Salek, F. and Flynn, M. eds. Screening Torture: Media Representations of State Terror and Political Domination. New York, USA: Columbia University Press.
Carney, P. (2010). Crime, punishment and the force of photographic spectacle. in: Hayward, K. J. and Presdee, M. eds. Framing Crime: Cultural Criminology and the Image. London: Taylor & Francis Ltd, pp. 17-35.
Carney, P. and Miller, V. (2009). Vague Spaces. in: Jansson, A. and Lagerkvist, A. eds. Strange Spaces: Explorations into Mediated Obscurity. Ashgate, Farnham, pp. 33-56. Available at: http://www.ashgate.com/default.aspx?page=637&calcTitle=1&title_id=8213&edition_id=8454.
Carney, P. (2009). Enrico Ferri. in: Hayward, K. J., Maruna, S. and Mooney, J. eds. Fifty Key Thinkers in Criminology. Taylor & Francis Ltd.
Review
Carney, P. (2017). Review Essay: Marc Schuilenburg, The Securitization of Society: Crime, Risk and Social Order. Theoretical Criminology [Online]:1-5. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1362480617693710.
Total publications in KAR: 9 [See all in KAR]
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Research Interests

My areas of interest include photographic theory, critical theory of spectacle, critical criminology, cultural criminology, visual criminology, desire and power and the micropolitics of fascism.

Taking a view that photographic representation and presentation is at the heart of the mass-mediated society of spectacle in modernity, I have pursued ESRC-funded doctoral studies, completing a thesis entitled  The Punitive Gaze, in which I use case studies of photographed bodies in confinement to demonstrate a new critical theory of the mass-media photograph.

In case studies examining the photographic events of Guantánamo, Abu Ghraib and the death of Myra Hindley, my aim was to show that another dimension of the power of the circulating photograph exists in excess of its representation and meaning: a force of practice or performance in and of the image. The photograph becomes both the scene and means of photogenic punishment.

In developing a theory of the active image I have drawn together some aspects of the writings of Marx, Nietzsche, Artaud, Foucault, Barthes, Deleuze and Guattari who, taken together in a particular way, may be seen to develop not only a materialist theory of power and desire as multiplicities but to provide the theoretical infrastructure for a materialist theory of the power in the circulating image, particularly in what we might call photographic production, where the photograph may be both the stage and instrument of performance, praxis and action.

It is in this way that I take an interest in what might be called rhizomic and nomadic methods, as forms of resistance to the imperial, territorial ambitions of ‘royal science’. Thus the ‘culture’ of cultural criminology is a vagrant concept that should be allowed to roam between disciplines and across fields, resisting the attempts of royal scientists to pin it to a map.

Current

  • The theory of the photograph and its application in a critical approach to the modern spectacles of crime, punishment, war, torture and terrorism.
  • An inquiry into the different kinds of critical approach to the mass media beyond the standard ‘communications’ model, especially those that take into account the triangular relationship between spectacle, power and desire.
  • The use of post-structuralist themes—particularly materialist conceptions of power and desire—in cultural criminology, in the renewal of critical criminology and in social and critical theory more generally.
  • The micro-politics of fascism and the will to punish.

Supervision
If you have a proposal within my areas of interest and wish to study at the University of Kent, please email me for further discussion.

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Teaching

Current

I teach undergraduates The Sociology of Crime and Deviance and masters students Critical and Global Criminology. back to top

Activity

Professional activities include:

  • Kent Academic Lead, Doctorate in Cultural and Global Criminology (DCGC).
  • Director Erasmus and International Programmes, SSPSSR, University of Kent. 
  • Kent Coordinator, Common Study Programme in Critical Criminology.
  • Member SSPSSR Research Ethics Committee, University of Kent.
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Media

Dr Phil Carney

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Telephone: +44(0)1227 823072 Fax: +44(0)1227 827005 or email us

SSPSSR, Faculty of Social Sciences, Cornwallis North East, University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent CT2 7NF

Last Updated: 24/07/2018