New PhD Peter Ejbye-Ernst

Imagine witnessing a violent fight on the street while you are walking home from the supermarket. What would you do? Would you intervene? And what would happen if you do?

Despite half a century of experimental bystander studies little is known about how bystanders behave in real-life situations. Senior researcher Marie Rosenkrantz Lindegaard received a personal grant from the Danish Council for Independent Research for a new bystander research project. This project aims at identifying and explaining bystander behaviour in violent situations by observing and analysing acts of bystanders in robberies and street fights recorded by CCTV cameras. The footage will be completed with information from police case files of the specific incidents. The project is a collaboration with the Department of Sociology of the University of Copenhagen (UCPH) and also received an Aspasia grant from NWO. Two postdocs in Copenhagen and a PhD student at NSCR are going to carry out the project.

Peter Ejbye-Ernst will carry out this project at NSCR. He received his Master’s degree in sociology in 2016 from the University of Copenhagen. During his studies he took part in a research project that used police case files and CCTV footage to investigate the situational dynamics of street fights in Copenhagen. Supervisors of this project are Marie Rosenkrantz Lindegaard (NSCR & UCPH) and Wim Bernasco (NSCR & VU).

The project will improve our understandings of violence by providing detailed insights into how bystanders influence violence as it unfolds in real life. It will draw on interdisciplinary insights about the meaning of bodily postures and movements in an innovative approach to the analysis of real-life interactions. By being present when the police are absent, bystanders may play a crucial role in safeguarding themselves and others from harm and injury in violent situations. Further understanding of the roles of bystanders in violent conflicts is thus not only of scientific relevance, but also serves the practical purpose of understanding how bystanders can promote public safety.

Credits picture: University of Copenhagen

dr. Marie Lindegaard

About dr. Marie Lindegaard

Marie Rosenkrantz Lindegaard is an anthropologist and researcher at the NSCR. Her work focuses on the social mechanisms behind violent acts and victimisation, cultural explanations for crime, and situational approaches to violence. She specialises in ethnographic methods with particular attention to observational methods including analysis of CCTV footage.

Marie is a member of the Criminal Events Cluster.

See the website of the Video violence group.

Link to personal website.

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Antokolskaia, M V; Coenraad, L M; der, Lans Marit Tomassen-van; van den Berg, C J W; Kaljee, J; Roorda, H N; Bijleveld, C C J H; Finkenauer, C; de Groot, G; Dirkse, M; Schellevis, T; Sijtesema, M C

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