Professor Sarah Armstrong
- Professor (Sociology)
- Court Elected Academic Member (Academic Services)
My research focuses on prisons, prisoners and criminal justice exploring questions about the governance, organisation, representation and experiences of punishment. A key strand of my research is on policy as a key site and source of culture, and in the specific bureaucratic qualities and logics that arise in penal institutions. To explore such issues I draw on diverse methods (ethnography, statistical analysis, semiotics, discourse and metaphor analysis, evaluation) and theoretical sources (anthropology of policy, human geography, ANT/STS, critical theory).
I am currently working on a project called Paper Cuts: Prisons, Bureaucracy and Violence, exploring structural and administrative violence in prison and relating this to bureaucratic forms of organisation generally.
During COVID-19, I co-led the Scotland in Lockdown study, as part of a large team conducting rapid research on the impact of lockdown for groups already facing isolation (June 2020-Feb 2021). The study was funded by the Chief Scientist Office, Scottish Government.
I was Director of the Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research (2016-19). I have a BA in history from Carleton College (Minnesota, USA); and a JD and PhD from the University of California, Berkeley. I have been a visiting fellow at the Unviersity of Toronto and the University of California, Berkeley.
I am Co-editor in Chief of the journal Crime Media Culture with Katherine Bieber and Travis Linneman
My research has been funded by:
- Economic and Social Research Council
- Leverhulme Trust
- Adam Smith Research Foundation
- Chief Scientist Office
- Scottish Government
- Third Sector organisations
- Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research
Martha O'Carroll (Glasgow/Joint Scholarship) Mapping the Politics of Penal Reform in Scotland
Nicola Ceesay (Glasgow/Joint Scholarship) Exploring the Lived Experience of Scotland's Discretionary Life Sentence: Orders for Lifelong Restriction
John McGhee (ESRC Datasets) Exploring Prisoner Health and Mortality Outcomes using Linked Datasets
Neil Cornish (ESRC Collaborative) Vulnerability of Prisoners in England and Scotland as Experienced by Prisoners and Defined by Prison Authorities
Betsy Barkas (ESRC) The role of the media in justice and investigation processes following deaths in custody in the UK
Helge Petersen (ESRC) The Racialisation of Law and Order – Political Struggles over Law Enforcement, Criminal Justice and Institutionalised Racism in Britain
Rachel Ferguson (ESRC) The Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry as a Site of Statistical and Legal Knowledge Production
Elly Nowell (Leverhulme Trust) Development of Rape Shield Legislation
Rebecca Foster (Dawes Trust) Half in/half out: exploring the experiences of the families of prisoners in a Scottish prison visitors’ centre
Colin Atkinson (Strathclyde Police) Beyond cop culture: the cultural challenge of civilian intelligence analysis in Scottish policing
Kisty Deacon (What Works Scotland) Young People’s Experiences of Having a Family Member in Prison
David Usman (Nigerian TETF) The Procedural Justice Model Applied to Trust in and Legitimacy of the Police in Abuja, Nigeria
Meg Lambert Neocolonial discourses in the collection, exhibition, and study of illicit West African cultural objects
Christine Weirich Developing Crime Script Analysis and Situational Crime Prevention for Acting on Antiquities Trafficking Networks
Giuliana Tiripelli Peacemaking Journalism in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict