The identification of the ‘criminal body’: the use of fingerprint and DNA technology
Miranda D (2015) The identification of the ‘criminal body’: the use of fingerprint and DNA technology. 15th Annual Conference of the European Society of Criminology – EUROCRIM 2015, University of Porto, Porto, 02.09.2015-05.09.2015.
Abstract 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 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.