This article is a theoretical treatment of feminist epistemology of crime, which advocates the centrality of gender as a theoretical starting point for the investigating of digital crimes. It does so by exploring the synergy between the feminist perspectives and the Tripartite Cybercrime Framework (TCF) (which argues that three possible factors motivate cybercrimes – socioeconomic, psychosocial, and geopolitical) to critique mainstream criminology and the meaning of the term “cybercrime”. Additionally, the article examines gender gaps in online harassment, cyber‐bullying, cyber‐fraud, revenge (...) porn, and cyber‐stalking to demonstrate that who is victimised, why, and to what effect are the critical starting points for the analysis of the connections between gender and crimes. In turn, it uses the lens of intersectionality to acknowledge that, while conceptions of gender and crime interact, they intersect with other categories (e.g., sexuality) to provide additional layers of explanation. To nuance the utilitarian value of the synergy between the TCF and the feminist perspectives, the focus shifts to a recent case study (which compared socioeconomic and psychosocial cybercrimes). The article concludes that, while online and offline lives are inextricably intertwined, the victimisations in psychosocial cybercrimes may be more gendered than in socioeconomic cybercrimes. These contributions align the TCF to the feminist epistemology of crime in their attempt to move gender analysis of digital crimes “from margin to centre”. (shrink)
This study sets out to examine the ways Nigerian cyber-fraudsters (Yahoo-Boys) are represented in hip-hop music. The empirical basis of this article is lyrics from 18 hip-hop artists, which were subjected to a directed approach to qualitative content analysis and coded based on the moral disengagement mechanisms proposed by Bandura (1999). While results revealed that the ethics of Yahoo-Boys, as expressed by musicians, embody a range of moral disengagement mechanisms, they also shed light on the motives for the Nigerian cybercriminals' (...) actions. Further analysis revealed additional findings: “glamorization/de-glamorization of cyber-fraud” and “sex-roles-and-cultures”. Having operated within the constraint of what is currently available (a small sample size), this article has drawn attention to the notion that Yahoo-Boys and some musicians may be “birds of a feather.” Secondly, it has exposed a “hunter-and-antelope-relationship” between Yahoo-Boys and their victims. Thirdly, it has also highlighted that some ethos of law-abiding citizens is central to Yahoo-Boys’ moral enterprise. Yahoo-Boys, therefore, represent reflections of society. Arguably, given that Yahoo-Boys and singers are connected, and the oratory messages of singers may attract more followers than questioners, this study illuminates the cultural dimensions of cyber-fraud that emanate from Nigeria. In particular, insights from this study suggest that cyber-fraud researchers might look beyond traditional data sources (e.g., cyber-fraud statistics) for the empirical traces of “culture in action” that render fraudulently practices acceptable career paths for some Nigerian youths. (shrink)
This article is a theoretical treatment of the ways in which local worldviews on wealth acquisition give rise to contemporary manifestations of spirituality in cyberspace. It unpacks spiritual (occult) economies and wealth generation through a historical perspective. The article ‘devil advocates’ the ‘sainthood’ of claimed law-abiding citizens, by highlighting that the line dividing them and the Nigerian cybercriminals (Yahoo-Boys) is blurred with regards to the use of magical means for material ends. By doing so, the article also illustrates that the (...) intersectionality of the spirit world and the acquisition of wealth (crime or otherwise) is connected with local epistemologies and worldviews, and its contemporaneity has social security benefits. Therefore, the view that the contemporary manifestations of spirituality in cyberspace signify a ‘new-danger’ and an ever-increasing outrage in the Nigerian society is misplaced. I conclude that if people believe all aspects of life are reflective of the spiritual world and determined by it, the spiritual realm, by implication, is the base of society, upon which sits the superstructure comprised of all aspects of life, especially wealth. Inferentially, this conceptual position that the spirit world is the base of society is an inversion of Orthodox Marxist’s theory of economic determinism. (shrink)
The poem is about my PhD experience. The title and parts of the themes are derived from an incident in the Bible (Acts 19:13-20). In order to provide a deeper meaning to my story, I have deployed a biblical allusion which connects with the story of the sons of Sceva, who made unsuccessful attempts to exorcise a man from Ephesus. They failed primarily because they operated not in the spirit but in the flesh.
Do men and women perceive cybercrime types differently? This article draws on the distinction between socio-economic and psychosocial cybercrime proposed by Lazarus (2019) to investigate whether men and women hold different perceptions of digital crimes across these two dimensions. Informed by the synergy between feminist theory and the Tripartite Cybercrime Framework (TCF), our survey examined respondents’ differential perceptions of socio-economic cybercrime (online fraud) and psychosocial cybercrime (cyberbullying, revenge porn, cyberstalking, online harassment) among men and women in the United Kingdom. The (...) results revealed that women considered psychosocial cybercrime worse than men. Conversely, we found no differences between men and women with regard to socio-economic cybercrime. The article concludes that psychosocial cybercrimes are more gendered than socio-economic cybercrime, suggesting problems with the meaning of ‘cyber-enabled crimes’, and substantiating the synergy between the TCF and feminist perspectives. (shrink)
How do tweets reflect the long-standing disparities between the northern and southern regions of Nigeria? This study presents a qualitative analysis of Twitter users' responses (n = 101,518) to the tweets of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) regarding the production and prosecution of cybercrime. The article uses postcolonial perspectives to shed light on the legacies of British colonial efforts in Nigeria, such as the amalgamation of the northern and southern protectorates in 1914. The results revealed significant discrepancies between (...) Nigeria's northern and southern regions regarding cybercriminal arrest, conviction, and sentencing. Specifically, the results showed that the EFCC's criminalization of Southerners differs substantially from that of Northerners. The contemporary manifestation of inequalities concerning the production and prosecution of cybercrime on Twitter reflects long-standing contestations (e.g., economic, political, cultural, geological) between the northern and southern parts of Nigerian society. Therefore, since the North-South divide in present-day Nigeria originated from British colonization, colonialism is the base that shaped the superstructure comprising political, religious, historical, geological (e.g., crude oil), and economic factors. In turn, the article spotlights that regional differences in educational attainment, originating from differing experiences of Christianization and colonization, interact with regional disparities in the production of cybercrime. More research is required to better understand how these contextual disparities in society interact with the production and prosecution of cybercrime, given that Nigerian cybercriminals defraud victims all over the world. (shrink)
This thesis, which is based on six peer-reviewed publications, is a theoretical and qualitative treatment of the ways in which social and contextual factors serve as a resource for understanding the particularities of ‘cybercrime’ that emanates from Nigeria. The thesis illuminates how closer attention to Nigerian society aids the understanding of Nigerian cybercriminals (known as Yahoo Boys), their actions and what constitutes ‘cybercrime’ in a Nigerian context. ‘Cybercrime’ is used in everyday parlance as a simple acronym for all forms of (...) crimes on the internet, whereas ‘cybercrime’ in a Nigerian context is rooted in socioeconomics and determined by it. In particular, the defrauding of victims for monetary benefit is the most significant theme that emerged from the analysis of Yahoo Boys. While all six publications are situated at the intersections of multiple fields of study, they all share a common endorsement of the constructionist/interpretivist position. The six published works comprise: [a] three conceptual publications; and [b] three empirical publications. The conceptual publications deconstruct the meanings of multiple taken-for-granted concepts in cybercrime scholarship and develop more robust conceptual lenses, namely: (1) ‘Digital Spiritualization’; (2) ‘The Tripartite Cybercrime Framework – TCF’; and (3) ‘The Synergy between Feminist Criminology and the TCF’. These new conceptual lenses represent the candidate’s contribution to developing theory in the field. Alongside this, the empirical section includes three sets of qualitative data, which include: (1) interviews with seventeen Nigerian parents; (2) lyrics from eighteen Nigerian musicians; and (3) interviews with forty Nigerian law enforcement officers. These diverse sources of qualitative data provide a more fully-developed understanding of ‘cybercrime’ in the Nigerian context (and elsewhere). All six-published works, while individually contributing to knowledge, collectively shed clearer light on the centrality of cultural context in the explanation of ‘cybercrime’. (shrink)
We aimed to identify the critical insights from empirical peer-reviewed studies on online romance fraud published between 2000 and 2021 through a systematic literature review using the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) protocol. The corpus of studies that met our inclusion criteria comprised twenty-six studies employing qualitative (n = 13), quantitative (n = 11), and mixed (n = 2) methods. Most studies focused on victims, with eight focusing on offenders and fewer investigating public perspectives. All the (...) victim-focused studies relied on data from the Global North, except for Malaysia. Five offender-focused studies used online data available in the public domain, and three derived their data from West Africa. Our review highlights offenders' techniques to deceive and manipulate victims, as revealed in these studies, and highlights some limitations of offender- and victim-focused studies. The dominant framework used across the studies was found to be the “Scammers Persuasive Techniques Model.” While this framework provides a helpful way of considering the stages of victim involvement, it also faces some limitations, which we highlight. Our study reviews the current state of empirical knowledge on romance fraud and identifies certain gaps and biases in the literature. We argue there is a need for further research into online romance fraud to enhance our understanding of it both from the perspective of the offender as well as the experience of the victim. We also highlight the need for a more inclusive and greater range of regional and global diverse range of data sources and perspectives. Given the scale and impact of online romance fraud, we conclude that its study would benefit from a richer empirical engagement that recognizes it as both a regional and global phenomenon. (shrink)
While this article aims to explore the connections between citizenship and ‘race’, it is the first study to use fictional tools as a sociological resource in exemplifying the deviation between citizenship in principle and practice in an Austrian context. The study involves interviews with 73 Austrians from three ethnic/racial groups, which were subjected to a directed approach to qualitative content analysis and coded based on sentences from George Orwell’s fictional book, ‘Animal Farm’. By using fiction as a conceptual and analytical (...) device, this article goes beyond the orthodox particulars of citizenship to expose the compressed entitlements of some racial/ethnic minorities. In particular, data analysis revealed two related and intertwined central themes: (a) “all animals are not equal or comrades”; and (b) “some animals are more equal than others”. All ‘animals’ may be equal in principle, whereas, in practice, their ‘race’ serves as a critical source of social (dis)advantage in the ‘animal kingdom’. Thus, since citizenship is a precondition for possessing certain rights that non-citizens are not granted, I argue that citizenship cannot only be judged by whom it, in theory, excludes (i.e., non-citizens), but also by how it treats the included (i.e., citizens) on the basis of their ‘race’. I conclude that skin colour is a specific aspect of the hierarchy of citizenship in Austria, which reinforces that ‘some animals are more equal than others’. (shrink)
The article is based on lyrics from 2007 to 2017 involving 18 hip-hop artists. All the songs I studied were by male singers apart from one entitled, “Maga no need pay,” which involved seven multiple artists. In all the songs, the glamorization of cybercrime and cybercriminals was one of the most significant themes. The implications are discussed.
This article is about the manifestations of similarities between two seemingly distinct groups of Nigerians: cybercriminals and politicians. Which linguistic strategies do Twitter users use to express their opinions on cybercriminals and politicians? The study undertakes a qualitative analysis of ‘engaged’ tweets of an elite law enforcement agency in West Africa. We analyzed and coded over 100,000 ‘engaged’ tweets based on a component of mechanisms of moral disengagement (i.e., advantageous comparison), a linguistic device. The results reveal how respondents defend the (...) actions of online fraudsters (“the deviant group”) by strategically comparing them to the wrongful acts of corrupt politicians (“the respectable group”). Similarly, the results show how respondents positioned this linguistic strategy to compare “the powerless group” (online fraudsters) and “the powerful group” (politicians) in society. Indeed, tweet responses suggest that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) generally looks downwards for culprits (i.e., online fraudsters) while ignoring fraudulent politicians. We conclude that the process by which some actions are interpreted as a crime compared to others is a moral enterprise. (shrink)
This article reviews an epochal change in international thinking about physical punishment of children from being a reasonable method of chastisement to one that is harmful to children and troubling to families. In addition, the article suggests shifts in thinking about physical punishment were originally pioneered as part and parcel of the dismantling of national laws granting fathers’ specific rights to admonish children under conventions of patria potestas. A comparative historical framework of analysis involving two case studies of Ireland and (...) Ghana illustrates non-unilinear pathways of international convergence towards the prohibition of physical punishment. The comparative historical analysis highlights the 1930s and 1940s as an era when Ireland began to reject patria potestas and religious or judicial rulings which allowed for children to be given ‘a good beating’ in family and school settings. However, from the same period, Ghana is seen to experience Christian remonstrations not to ‘spare the rod’ leading to the ‘conventional’ tradition of ‘this is how we do it here’. Two case studies serve to illustrate that banning physical punishment was less controversial in Ireland where allied traditions of patria potestas and disciplinarian Christian beliefs had lost their moral hegemony than in Ghana where such beliefs still held influence. The article concludes overall that normative campaigns against physical punishment of children emanate from a coherent paradigm of family policy where childcare, education, and well-being of children are embedded as everyday societal responsibilities rather than privatised or patriarchal familial obligations. The coherent model offers an alternative moral hegemony to neo-liberal and Janus-faced conceptualisations of good or ‘intact’ families versus ‘broken’ or ‘troubled’ families. (shrink)
We rarely acknowledge the achievements of doctoral candidates who fought with all they had but still lost the battle and dropped out – we know so little about what becomes of them. This reflective article is about the betrayals of PhD supervisors in one institution, the trauma and stigma of withdrawing from that institution, writing poetry as a coping mechanism and the triumph in completing a Thesis by Publication (TBP) in another institution. Thus, I build on Lesley Saunders’s idea about (...) using poetry to operate on ‘a personal capacity’ in educational research. Accordingly, I present an original autoethnographic poem and other poetic artefacts as well as reflections to sharpen the sociological eye of my story. In it, I merge two different segments of experiences in poetry – trauma and triumph – to draw an image of my doctoral journey, in the moment and in retrospection. By doing so, I illuminate the struggles involved in becoming an independent researcher. I also encourage practitioners to conceive that their negative experiences in doing educational research can be transformed into an achievement depending on the stand they take when faced with it. Certainly, poor academic performance can be closely associated with abandoning doctoral studies, but that is not always the case. Therefore, it is my hope that this autoethnographic work may instill hope in doctoral candidates who are still in the struggle to find a voice. (shrink)