Associate Professor Gail Mason receives the Allen Austin Bartholomew Award
4 December 2008
Associate Professor Gail Mason received the Allen Austin Bartholomew Award for the best article published in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Criminology at the 21st Annual conference of the Australian and New Zealand Society of Criminology (ANZSOC) in Canberra recently.
The prize was for her paper, 'Hate Crime as a Moral Category: Lessons from the Snowtown Case', ANJ of Criminology 40(3), (2007).
The paper constituted part of Associate Professor Mason's extensive body of research and publication in the area of hate crime, which has resulted in her current standing as a leading voice in this often challenging and always developing field.
The abstract of her paper is as follows:
Hate Crime as a Moral Category: Lessons from the Snowtown Case
Hate crime is more than a legal category. It is also a moral category that promotes tolerance and respect over prejudice. In so doing, the concept of hate crime makes a claim for social justice on behalf of those groups disadvantaged by racism, homophobia, anti-Semitism and so on. This article argues that one of the means via which the concept of hate crime does this is to generate certain forms of "emotional thinking" amongst the general public: such as compassion for victims and contempt or disgust for perpetrators. The question of whether a given criminal event will be labelled and constructed as a hate crime is, thus, not simply a matter of whether it meets the minimal definitional requirements. It is also dependent upon the capacity, in particular, of those who claim victim status to engender forms of emotional thinking that encourage others to see them as the undeserving victims of prejudice, that is, as "ideal" victims. This argument is grounded in a recent empirical study of the Snowtown murders in South Australia. Despite the emergence of a strong "hatred as motive" theme in the legal arena, the murders have never been publicly labelled as hate crime. The article argues that images of deep moral failure on the part of the victims (not just the perpetrators) precluded them from engendering forms of emotional thinking that are essential if the concept of hate crime is to function as a moral category.
Associate Professor Mason is the Co-Director of the Sydney Institute of Criminology and is the Program Co-ordinator of Sydney Law School's Postgraduate Criminology Program
Contact: Greg Sherington
Phone: +61 2 9351 0202