Virtual Discussion Group – “It’s just so hostile”: Exploring Disabled People’s Everyday Encounters in Accessible Parking Spaces

Wednesday 7 February 2024, 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm GMT, online (UK)


Vera Kubenz (University of Birmingham)

In this presentation I explore and reflect on my ongoing PhD research into how disabled people manage encounters with strangers and the impact of these encounters on their identity. I focus on accessible parking spaces as one of the few public spaces where disability is expected rather than excluded. While parking may seem a mundane activity, I begin by mapping the complex assemblages that shape the interactions that take place in these spaces. Following this, I present data and key findings from the first stage of my research, consisting of a media content analysis and survey of 304 Blue Badge holders. The survey explored the types of encounters that take place, the factors that disabled people feel influence these encounters, and how encounters impact on disabled people. I link my findings to how the Blue Badge has been represented in news reporting in the last 5 years. In the discussion I problematise ideas about who is seen as a ‘legitimate’ disabled person in accessible spaces, and question if any space can be truly accessible if these ideas persist in them. I also reflect on my own experiences of Blue Badge encounters and the difficulties of navigating hate incidents at the same time as researching them.

About this group

This discussion group is part of the BSC Hate Crime Network, and has been designed to create a supportive space for PGRs and ECRs who are researching within the broad area of hate studies. PGRs could include students studying at MA and doctoral level, and ECRs includes those researchers who are within five years of receiving their doctorate. The group brings PGRs and ECRs together to share their research projects, discuss methodological issues, and consider best practices when researching sensitive topics.

The group will touch upon, but are not limited to, the following topics:

  • Working with and supporting victims
  • Managing the sensitivity of hate studies research
  • Ethical issues
  • Working with policy-makers and practitioners
  • Creative and inclusive research methods
  • Our responsibility as researchers
  • Working with perpetrators of hate crime

In addition to these discussions, the group will also organise occasional training sessions with more experienced researchers. These training sessions could cover some of the above, but please get in touch if there are any particular areas that you would benefit from. These sessions will be led by an experienced researcher within the area of hate studies, but there will continue to be an emphasis on open discussion and Q&A. All sessions will run online (unless otherwise stated) via Zoom. These will be bi-monthly on a Wednesday afternoon lasting 1 hour (2-3pm). Presenters will speak for approximately 25 minutes, and this will be followed by a discussion.

If you would like to present at one of these discussion groups, please contact Leah Burch ( @LeahFBurch) with a short bio and abstract. This does not need to be detailed but should give a broad overview of a potential topic/issue/method that you would like to discuss. Alternatively, if you have a theme/question that you would like discuss or for a training session, please get in touch.

To stay up to date with these events and access joining details, please ensure that you follow the British Society of Criminology Hate Crime Network on Twitter @BscHcn and are subscribed to our JISCmail account


Find out more information and book your free place here:

Leave a comment


Join the Network

Join the network today to receive the latest news, publications and events straight into your inbox!

Latest from Twitter