Dr Dylan Kerrigan

Dr Dylan KerriganESRC, GCRF Research Associate

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Biography

I am currently a Research Associate working with a multi-disciplinary research team researching the definition, extent, experience and treatment of MNS disorders in Guyana’s jails: both among inmates and the people who work with them.

Previously I was a lecturer and researcher in Socio-Cultural Anthropology, Political Sociology, and Criminology at the University of the West Indies, St Augustine Campus from 2007 to 2019. I am also still a visiting lecturer with the University of the West Indies, St Augustine Campus in the sociology unit, and i currently supervise MSc, MPhil, and PhD students in cultural and political sociology.

I got my PhD in Anthropology from American University in Washington DC. Did a Masters in Anthropology and Cultural Process at Goldsmiths College, University of London. I started out with a BA in Social Anthropology from the University of Sussex.

From a Caribbean, global South perspective I am most interested in how cultural and economic processes extend over long periods of time in the service of various systems of power.

My main areas of focus are: class analysis; class and culture; race, class, and colourism; inequality; social change and the state; spectacle, carnival, and sport; popular culture; social and economic justice; power, elites, and white-collar crime; culture and politics.

Methodologically, I am primarily an ethnographer, qualitative specialist, and social historian. I am an expert in the following:

  • Informal interviews
  • Life Stories/Histories
  • Participant Observation
  • Semi-structured interviews
  • Focus Groups
  • Structured Survey instruments
  • Community mapping
  • Archival and library research
  • Ethnography / Rapid assessment ethnography
  • Discourse Analysis
  • I'm also pretty good at getting people to tell me stories...

My ability to combine these methods – either as a team leader or on my own – has allowed me to rapidly assess communities and institutions across a range of areas and to provide comprehensive bottom up insights and social and cultural context for Government Ministries, NGOs, Development Banks, Universities, Communities, and others in the implementation and development of social programs and social change.

My dissertation was a social history of race, class and culture in urban Trinidad with a specific focus on Woodbrook, Carnival, and Violence. It provided examples of cultural connections between the different political and economic climates/structures/eras of Colonialism, Post Colonialism and Neo Colonialism in Trinidad.

Since then I've done research on:

  • Men and masculinities on the small goal football fields of Western Trinidad
  • A National study on court user experiences of the magistrate and high courts of Trinidad and Tobago
  • Youth experiences of urban violence
  • Therapeutic cultures, positive psychology and the transnational self-help industry
  • The militarisation of everyday life in urban Port of Spain
  • Decision-making amongst government officials
  • Political culture and the failure of social development in T&T
  • White-collar crime, corruption and bobol
  • The coloniality of power and Justice in the Caribbean
  • Spoken word as a local research methodology
  • Fear of crime and local policing
  • Crime and it's representation in the anglophone Caribbean
  • Radicalisation and preventing violent extremism
  • The impact of transnational organised crime on masculinities and everyday violence
  • Youth Mentorship and reducing gang violence in Morvant, Trinidad
  • Prison Reform in Guyana

I have also worked as a consultant for:

  • The Inter-American Development Bank
  • The Judicial Education Institute of Trinidad and Tobago
  • United Nations Development Programme
  • The University of Coventry
  • The Ministry of National Integration and Diversity, Government of Trinidad and Tobago
  • The Ministry of Arts and Multiculturalism, Government of Trinidad and Tobago
  • The Faculty of Law, University of the West Indies, Mona Campus, Jamaica

I was also a Commissioner on the The Elections and Boundaries Commission of Trinidad and Tobago from 2016 to 2019

My teaching and research looks at the world from a Caribbean centre because the way power is structured in the modern world most people do not have a good grasp of the importance of the Caribbean, both in the history and future of the world. In this Caribbean-sense my conceptual focus is often around coloniality and the punishment of Capital found on the ground in the Caribbean and Latin America. Specifically, how do social and cultural systems extend over long periods of time in the service and power of a particular economic model and system, variably referred to as "capitalism"?

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