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Durham University

Department of Sociology

Sociology Department Staff

Publication details for Prof Catherine Donovan

Catherine Donovan, John Clayton & Stephen Macdonald (2019). 'New directions in hate reporting research: agency, heterogeneity and relationality'. Sociological Research Online 24(2): 185-202.

Author(s) from Durham


The third-party hate reporting project Arch, based in the north-east of England, has one of the largest datasets on third-party reporting of hate crime/incidents in the UK. Spanning a 10-year period from 2005, this dataset, though limited, provides a unique opportunity to trace the patterns of those reporting hate, based on ‘race’ and faith, sexuality and transgender identity, and disability. Focusing on reports of hate, based on perceived sexuality and/or transgender identities, the article considers the timing, location, and nature of hate crime/incidents reported, as well as some of the patterns in the repeat reporting data. This is done to suggest three features of those who are victimised by hate crime/incidents. First, they can be understood as agentic, indeed, of inhabiting transformative identities: not only do they challenge their perceived stigmatised identities by reporting their hate experiences, but by doing so they reframe the identities of those normals who enact hate as stigmatised. Second, they are heterogeneous, with multiple, intersecting identities, different experiences of hate, and responses to them. Third, we suggest that, by drawing on the parallels between domestic violence and hate, it might be more fruitful to think of those who report repeat victimisations, especially of apparently ‘low level’ experiences, as being caught up in hate relationships. In conclusion, a new agenda is suggested for hate research to include a focus on agency, heterogeneity, and relationality.