This is an annually awarded prize in memory of Janine Segers, doctor in Law at the ULB, Master in criminology and judge at the juvenile court, who died in 1969 at the age of 44. The prize of 500 euros is awarded every year at the official proclamation to the best master dissertation submitted in the previous academic year that answers to the following criteria:
‘Vrij onderzoek’ (free research) or the capacity to conduct research in a ‘redelijk eigenzinnige’ way, following the university’s credo.
Original and innovative research or the use of problem formulations, theoretical frameworks and/or methods that are not mainstream in criminology.
Scientific quality or an outstanding work on a theoretical and methodological level Language use and writing style are of excellent level.
Quoted with at least 15/20 during the last academic year.
A call is sent out each year in September to all graduated students.
Based on the assumption that the juvenile court sets out to act in the interests of the youngsters, it was a challenge to discover if the youngsters also experience it that way. On the basis of the research question, we looked for the differences between the intentions of the juvenile judge and the perception that the juveniles have of him/her. We investigated how and where these differences come about, and which aspects or actions can align this vision more positively. In addition to the literature study, we opted for a creative ‘rapworkshop’, in order to find a method that is close to the youngsters’ interests. By contacting institutions, five responded positively. This resulted in five different workshops, where the youngsters wrote a rap together with a musician, about their image of the juvenile judge. In total twenty-six respondents eventually participated in the project. Both from the literature study and from this empirical part, we found that the juvenile judge has a dual role. On the one hand, there was the protective role of the juvenile judge, which particularly applied to the group of respondents who appeared before him due to a problematic upbringing. On the other hand, there was the juvenile judge's punitive role, which was more evident with the group of respondents who appeared before the court for some transgression or other. The difference between the intentions of the juvenile judge and the image of the youngsters is mainly reflected in his/her role and the context in which these two groups must appear before him/her. It was remarkable that all respondents wished for a relationship of trust, with someone closer to their environment.
Young people from Brussels are often seen as a homogeneous group and associated with a negative connotation. Nowadays people try to mobilize these young people through social sports projects. These ‘sports for development’ programs focus on individual and social development within a multicultural society. Now it appears that the scientific results of these programs are not unequivocally positive and especially aimed at men. BC Foyer Molenbeek is such a project with this special feature that it focuses exclusively on girls. It concerns a group that is both socially and scientifically invisible. The following research question has been decided upon to discover what these urban girls consider important and at the same time to empower them: 'Which elements are represented in the self-narratives of the girls of BC Foyer Molenbeek?' With as sub questions: 'Which place takes the project from BC Foyer Molenbeek?’ and ‘What role do the girls of the project give to gender within their self-narratives?’ The first part of the literature study deals with the current situation of young people in Brussels and the sports programs. Later on, it zooms in on this urban youth. These young people are seen as vulnerable, but at the same time they are expected to assume responsibility for structurally embedded problems. There is also a plea for a wider vision in which understanding and voicing this youth takes a central position. This points out the importance of self-narratives. We all create our own social reality in interaction with social processes and the Other. To understand what urban youth is concerned with, we need to understand which processes play a role in the construction of their identity. The third part deals with gender. This describes the importance of recognizing gender as a social construction that generates expectations. The methodological part describes the data collection methods: observing participation, photohistorias and focus groups. Photos that the respondents collected themselves formed the guideline for these focus groups. This created a large degree of freedom. The results are then described and analysed. This chapter notices the importance of an identity that is co-constructed and the important role of the Other. Some of these identity traits may even lead to exclusion and discrimination. The need for more visibility of urban girls and processes at the micro level is prominent here. We decide with a conclusion, a discussion and a number of recommendations.
The impact of ostracism (being excluded or ignored) on its targets has been extensively explored in the last decades. Ostracism has been found to have adverse effects on targeted individuals physical and mental health. Most research in this field, however, has focused on the immediate and short-term impact on ostracised individuals and has been conducted under laboratory conditions. Utilising a qualitative approach, the current study explored the long-term impact of chronic ostracism in former members of the Jehovah’s Witnesses who were excommunicated from their community following a variety of doctrinal transgressions. Moreover, the study explored how ostracised individuals make sense and explain ostracism to themselves. The study comprised twelve qualitative interviews with six participants. The results of this study support findings from previous studies, in regards to the short-term effects of ostracism. Ostracism affects four fundamental human needs; the need for belonging, self-esteem, control and meaningful existence. The study offers preliminary evidence that these basic human needs are not only thwarted as a short-term consequence but continue to affect its targets beyond the immediate ostracism episode. Long-term effects of chronic ostracism, as experienced and described by participants in this study, include adverse effects on the perception of participants identity, the development of destructive and harmful coping mechanisms, feelings of disconnection from others, fears regarding ones’ personal integrity, as well as anxiety and uncertainty about the future. Further research in this area is needed to provide conclusive evidence for these long-term effects. Based on the findings of this study, a number of recommendations have been identified: The need for raising awareness of ostracism as a controlling and coercive behavioural tool amongst professionals who come in contact with children raised in environments that promote the use of this unethical behaviour, the provision of specialist support services for people who experience ostracism, plans and actions from policy makers and legislators to prevent and prosecute the unethical use of ostracism as a control tool.