Sociological research-project on street violence receives a large grant from the Velux Foundation – University of Copenhagen

Forward this page to a friend Resize Print Bookmark and Share

English > About the department > News > Project about street v...

06 November 2013

Sociological research-project on street violence receives a large grant from the Velux Foundation

“Violence in the street, violence of the street - street violence in a situational perspective”

The Velux foundation has granted 5,9 million Danish kroner to a scientific project at the Department of Sociology about street violence. The project will examine how street violence occurs influenced by specific urban spaces and situations.

Research into street violence situations

The situational process of street violence has been neglected in sociological research, which traditionally has focused on the social background of violent individuals. The problem, according to the research group, is however that these social circumstances behind street violence do not bring us any closer to an understanding of the sociological aspects on how violence occurs in a given situation.

Therefore, the project “Violence in the street, violence of the street - street violence in a situational perspective” will examine:

  • The situational conditions and processes of street violence, including the significance of the spatial-architectural street design
  • The bodily feelings of spectators and actors involved in street violence.

Analyzing surveillance videos and ‘hot spots’

Footage of street violence from surveillance cameras in Copenhagen are methodically micro-analyzed, qualitatively as well as quantitatively. Furthermore, both qualitative and quantitative analysis of places in Copenhagen that serve as ‘hot spots’ for street violence will be carried out.

The study may contribute to prevention

Understanding which situational conditions may promote violence, can make preventive action against the particular circumstances which might lead to destructive behaviour possible. However, these circumstances must first be identified. This grant will make it possible to advance deeper into the issues and to combine observational analysis with fascinating theories about how the affective and the tangible aspects are important factors in social life, the research group emphasises.

Participation and financing

The project “Violence in the street, violence of the street - street violence in a situational perspective” will be accomplished by a group at the Department of Sociology consisting of:

  • Marie Bruvik Heinskou, postdoc
  • Lasse Suonperä Liebst, postdoc
  • Charlotte Bloch, associate professor
  • Poul Poder, associate professor, project manager.

The grant awarded by the VELUX FOUNDATION runs from March 2014 until March 2017.

The VELUX FOUNDATION is a non-profit foundation, founded by Villum Kann Rasmussen - Founder of Velux and other companies in the VKR group.

Read more about the VELUX FOUNDATION here.