Conference Paper (unpublished)

Criminal identification practices, power relations and rights



Miranda D (2016) Criminal identification practices, power relations and rights. BSA (British Sociological Association) Annual Conference, Aston University, Birmingham, 06.04.2016-08.04.2016.

This presentation explores the meanings attributed to the application of biometric methods in criminal identification practices by Polícia Judiciária's inspectors (responsible for these proceedings during the criminal investigation) and by convicted offenders (the main target of these practices). Through a qualitative theoretical-methodological perspective and based on a set of semi-structured interviews and informal conversations, we analyse the social representations of these actors regarding these techno-scientific methods. In particular, we will focus on fingerprint and DNA technology, since these are considered the most useful and efficient identification methods in criminal investigation. We explore the collecting procedures of fingerprints and biological samples and consider the social and ethical implications that these procedures create. There are relations of power that should be seen as a strategic game where the dynamics of domination, submission and resistance endure. Despite the different reactions from the individuals subjected to these practices, they can be aggregated in situations of embarrassment, consensus and rejection according with the dynamics of the game.

FundersFundacao para a Ciencia e Tecnologia
Publisher URL
ConferenceBSA (British Sociological Association) Annual Conference
Conference locationAston University, Birmingham

People (1)


Dr Diana Miranda

Dr Diana Miranda

Lecturer in Criminology, Sociology, Social Policy & Criminology