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Crime, Punishment, Social Marginalization and reintegration in Small Societies

08.10.2019 - 10.10.2019

Nordic societies have been described as having qualities setting them apart from Anglophone countries, with relatively low prison populations and lenient penalties. Criminologists and sociologists have discussed the term Scandinavian Exceptionalism, with consistently low rates of imprisonment, humane prison conditions, and relatively short sentences. Yet from this perspective small, remote island societies as Greenland, Iceland, Faroe Islands and Åland have largely been neglected. 

Supported by the Scandinavian Research Council for Criminology (NSfK) a working group, consisting of Nordic scholars, has met on several occasions to describe how conflicts and crimes are handled in these four Nordic island societies. In such small societies people are probably more visible to each other, mutually dependent, and daily life subject to strong traditions. How do they handle conflicts, crime and deviance? And how do they work out their local criminal policies? 

Are problems of stigma and social marginalization in small societies more visible and more quickly resolved with in these places than in larger societies? Do small societies offer a better quality of reintegration than larger societies?

Or alternatively: Is an offence, and an offender, perhaps more likely to be remembered in small societies, making re-integration to society more difficult in small societies than in larger societies? 

We invite all scholars and practicioners who are interested in topics related to crime, deviance, punishment and stigma, to participate in this conference.

Conference language: Scandinavian languages, Greenlandic and English.

We look forward to seeing you in Nuuk. 

Conference organizers

  • The working group supported by Scandinvian Research Council of Criminology; Criminality, Incarceration and Control in Nordic island societies
  • Departement of Social Sciences, Ilisimatusarfik / University of Greenland
  • Departement of Social Work, Ilisimatusarfik / University of Greenland


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