Miranda D (2018) Criminal bodies under investigation. EUROCRIM 2018 (18th Annual Conference of the European Society of Criminology), Sarajevo, 29.08.2018-01.09.2018. https://www.esc-eurocrim.org/images/esc/files/Abstracts_Sarajevo_2018.pdf
Drawing on a qualitative study with police inspectors, this presentation aims to explore how these actors from the Portuguese criminal justice system reproduce cultural assumptions about criminal bodies. These bodies are perceived as having certain tendencies, physical characteristics, and behavioral traits that are seen as a guide for seeking signs of a predisposition to crime. Indeed, the narratives of our participants not only associate such bodies to a record of a criminal past but also highlight their role in the prediction of a criminal future. This presentation will examine such narratives in light of studies and disciplines that considered criminality as being physically manifested in the body (such as phrenology, physiognomy and criminal anthropology). We will also consider the renewed scientific and academic interest in biological explanations of criminal behavior. We will argue that the ideas that guide such studies and the theories of the criminal by nature also circulate and are conveyed by police inspectors.
police; criminal investigation; body