My work examines how service providers such as the police, educators, settlement workers, social workers, counsellors and mental health professionals among others, understand and respond to incidents of violence against women that are motivated by notions of honour and shame. 

 
Deirdre Kelly
Toronto
Canada
UBC Public Scholars Award
 

Research Description

The goal of my study is to examine how service providers such as the police, educators, settlement workers, social workers, counsellors and mental health professionals among others, understand and respond to incidents of violence against women that are motivated by notions of honour and shame. An additional goal of my study is to challenge "orientalist" or stereotypical cultural perspectives of honour related violence and oppression that adversely impact Muslim and South Asian communities.

What does being a Public Scholar mean to you?

Being a Public Scholar means that I have the opportunity to integrate my knowledge, skills and experiences as an academic, police officer and community member to improve the lives of individuals and communities. It also means that I have the opportunity to collaboratively produce relevant knowledge with service providers including the police, settlement workers, counsellors, mental health professionals, academics and community members that seeks to address social problems such as honour related violence and oppression and racism.

In what ways do you think the PhD experience can be re-imagined with the Public Scholars Initiative?

The PhD experience can be re-imagined with the PSI by facilitating a process where members of academia, communities and employment sectors come together to share knowledge and work on issues of concern collaboratively.

How do you envision connecting your PhD work with broader career possibilities?

I envision my PhD work bringing me to a place where I have the knowledge and skills as well as personal, professional and community networks to carry out research projects, consult and teach while I work as a police officer and after I retire from the force.

How does your research engage with the larger community and social partners?

The goal of my research is to collaborate with service providers such as the police, educators, settlement workers and counsellors among others to identify and develop knowledge that assists them to better understand and respond to honour related violence and oppression. Through this collaboration, it is also my aim to develop knowledge and build networks with service providers throughout Canada that challenge stereotypical and racist views of honour related violence and oppressions that adversely affect Muslim and South Asian communities.

How do you hope your work can make a contribution to the “public good”?

My research project will contribute to the public good by engaging service providers in a collaborative process that generates data around practice. This knowledge will help to narrow a gap based on oppression and stereotypes that several racialized communities and advocacy groups such as “Black Lives Matter” have stated exists between the police and racialized communities. Knowledge from my study will help to narrow this gap as it will draw on and provide knowledge based on the expertise of faculty and students at UBC on issues of social justice, gender studies, cultural studies, and citizenship and democracy. Additionally, my study will challenge the Orientalist framing of HRVO that adversely effects Muslim and South Asian communities.

Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree?

I decided to purse a graduate degree after working in the area of domestic violence and stalking for 15 years as a police officer. I decided to pursue a PhD at this time because I wanted to gain knowledge, critical thinking and research skills that would assist me to be a more effective police officer, educator and community member.

Why did you choose to come to British Columbia and study at UBC?

I decided to study at UBC because the PhD/EDD programs in Educational Studies have Faculty such as Dr. Deirdre Kelly, Dr. Andre Mazawi and Dr. Hartej Gill who have extensive expertise in anti-oppression theories, cultural studies, gender studies and social justice. Also, the UBC Educational Studies Department was the most receptive to working with me while I continued in my role as a police officer with the Vancouver Police Department.

 

Being a Public Scholar means that I have the opportunity to integrate my knowledge, skills and experiences as an academic, police officer and community member to improve the lives of individuals and communities.