My research interests lie at the intersection of law and society and corrections. Specifically, I utilize textual analysis and visual methods to understand the social and legal construction of correctional systems and structures. I focus on three lines of inquiry: 1) The meaning of rehabilitation and language surrounding the rehabilitative ideal; 2) The various ways in which correctional systems and structures are justified and maintained; and 3) The geographic community of correctional spaces. I also write on critical pedagogical approaches to legal and criminological education at the undergraduate level. Recent publications include:
- Shah, R., and Kopko, K. C. (2016). Feminist pedagogy and the Socratic method: Partners in the classroom or a disaster waiting to happen? Higher Education Studies, 6(2). DOI: 10.5539/hes.v6n2p39
- Henne, K. and Shah, R. (2015). Unveiling White logic in Criminological research: An intertextual analysis. Contemporary Justice Review, 18(2), 105-120.
- Speary, K., and Shah, R. (2015). “It’s not illegal to be bizarre”: Police decision-making process when coming in contact with persons with a mental illness. Journal of Psychology and Behavioral Sciences, 24(1), 22-32.
- Shah, R. (2015). Expanding the community: An exploratory analysis of a parole office’s location and its impact on parolees. British Journal of Criminology, 55(2), 321-340.
By bridging the areas of criminology and law and society, I use these lines of inquiry to not only inform my classroom, but also support student-led research projects. Specifically, I advise students interested in criminological inquiries or interested in using qualitative methods. My goal is to mentor students seeking to expand their skills prior to entering graduate school or the job market. Recent student projects I mentored include:
- Mediating perceptions of race and criminal justice in America, Emily Soltys, Class of 2017, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, May 2016, Submission for Sowing the Seed: https://sowingtheseed.wordpress.com/2016/05/16/mediating-perceptions-of-race-and-criminal-justice-in-america/
- The stereotype of criminal blackness, Matthew Kuraska, Class of 2016, Department of English, May 2016, Submission for Sowing the Seed: https://sowingtheseed.wordpress.com/2016/04/25/the-stereotype-of-criminal-blackness/
- “It’s not illegal to be bizarre”: Police decision-making process when coming in contact with persons with a mental illness, Katlyn Speary, Class of 2013, Honor’s in Sociology thesis (A portion of this thesis was published in the Journal of Psychology and Behavioral Sciences.)
- An analysis of the feminist critique of gender roles in Disney princess movies, Katherine Tripp, Class of 2014, College Honor’s thesis