Dr. Barbara Perry
Professor, Faculty of Social Science and Humanities | University of Ontario Institute of Technology
Oshawa, ON, CA
Global hate crime expert and leading author cultivates a society of education and victim support
Dr. Barbara Perry is recognized as one of the world’s foremost authorities and renowned authors on Hate Crime. A Professor in the Faculty of Social Science and Humanities at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT), Dr. Perry is helping to frame the field, and foster global education and support for victims of violence. Excited by her ability to challenge the status quo and traditional ways of thinking about the justice system, Dr. Perry has studied hate crime for more than 20 years. What drew her in was the enormous opportunity to fill the many gaps in the system; dealing with victims and their experiences; then sharing their stories to create broader awareness. She is passionate about giving victims a voice and deeply committed to bringing people in marginalized communities back into the fold so that they can realize full citizenship.
Her pursuit of social justice stems from her desire to have a more critical perspective. In 1985, Dr. Perry obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Social Behaviour from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario; she received her Master of Arts in Sociology from Queen’s University in 1987, and earned her Doctorate in Sociology from Carleton University in Ottawa, Ontario in 1992. Her previous appointments include Assistant Professor and Associate Professor in the Department of Criminal Justice at Northern Arizona University, and Assistant Professor in the Department of Criminology at the University of Southern Maine.
Throughout her esteemed career, Dr. Perry has received numerous teaching and research awards for her work including the 2013 Distinguished Scholar Award from Auckland University in New Zealand. In 2012, she was appointed Honorary Fellow in the Department of Criminology at the University of Leicester, United Kingdom; and she was awarded the American Society of Criminology’s 2007 Critical Criminologist of the Year.
Industry Expertise (4)
- Law Enforcement
Areas of Expertise (10)
Adjunct Professor, Department of Sociology, University of Limerick (professional)
Founding Board Member, International Institute on Radicalisation and Securities Studies (IIRSS) (professional)
Established in January 2014, the IIRSS was created to provide research, training and specialized investigative support on matters involving hate propaganda, the promotion of genocide, hate-motivated crimes, criminal extremism and radicalisation. The mandate of the IIRSS is to conduct multi-national strategic intelligence operations, training and research targeting individuals or organized groups involved in radicalised activity and criminal extremism.
2013 Distinguished Visitor Award, Auckland University (professional)
Auckland, New Zealand
Documentary Producer, Courage in the Face of Hate (professional)
Courage in the Face of Hate is the first Canadian documentary to focus on the human impact of hate crimes, bullying and violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, and two-spirited Canadians. Produced in partnership with Egale Canada Human Rights Trust in 2012, the documentary is aimed at students in grades 9 to 11 and includes a lesson plan. One of the most impactful research projects of Dr. Perry’s career, her documentary has been picked up by school boards across Canada.
Co-Chair and Advisory Board Member, International Network For Hate Studies (professional)
This cross-jurisdictional and interdisciplinary organization aims to facilitate the exchange of knowledge about the study of hate and hate crime. Academics and practitioners are working to understand ways that hate and hate crime can be combated in society.
Honorary Fellow, Department of Criminology, University of Leicester (professional)
Author, Diversity, Crime and Justice in Canada (Oxford) (professional)
Dr. Perry brings together 17 of the country’s leading scholars to address issues of inequality as they intersect with crime and social justice. Published in 2011, this invaluable student text examines social inequality in relation to Canada’s criminal justice system.
Board of Directors, PFLAG Canada Durham Region (professional)
Since 2011, Dr. Perry has served on the Board of Directors of PFLAG Canada Durham Region, the only national organization that helps all Canadians with issues of sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression through support, education and resources. Her other roles within this group include Education Co-ordinator, and LGBT Youth Leadership Camp Committee Chair and Fund Development Committee member.
Professor, Faculty of Social Science and Humanities, UOIT (professional)
In July 2004, Dr. Perry joined UOIT as Associate Professor, and in July 2006 she became the first woman at the university to be promoted to Full Professor. From 2008-2014, she served as the faculty's Associate Dean. She received UOIT's Research Excellence Award in 2009.
2007 Critical Criminologist of the Year, American Society of Criminology (ASC) (professional)
ASC Division on Critical Criminology
Visiting Professor, Department of Social Sciences, Nottingham Trent University (professional)
Author, In the Name of Hate: Understanding Hate Crimes (Routledge) (professional)
In the Name of Hate: Understanding Hate Crimes is the first book to offer a comprehensive theory of hate crimes. It provides an historical understanding of hate crimes and provocatively argues that hate crimes are not an aberration of current society, but a by-product of a society still struggling with inequality, difference, fear and hate. Widely regarded as the seminal book in the industry, her first edition broke new ground and helped frame the field.
Carleton University : PhD, Sociology 1992
Queen's University : Master of Arts, Sociology 1987
Queen's University: Bachelor of Arts, Social Behaviour 1985
- American Society of Criminology
- British Society of Criminology
- Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences
- American Sociological Association
- Society for the Study of Social Problems
Media Appearances (13)
Right Wing Extremism in Canada
It's known as the "other terror" - the domestic threat posed by right-wing extremism, including white supremacists and anti-government radicals. According to one report, 59 per cent of "lone wolf" attacks in Canada over the last 15 years have been committed by right-wing extremists. Barbara Perry, professor at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology, joins The Agenda to discuss the various right wing extremist groups across Canada, and the threat they pose.
The disturbing movement against Syrian refugees in Canada
The Star online
A 2016 study by academics Barbara Perry and Ryan Scrivens found that right-wing extremism in Canada is “more extensive and more active than public rhetoric would suggest,” comprising at least 100 active groups — many of which are linked to like-minded European and American organizations.
Right-Wing Extremist Groups in Canada
Spice Radio radio
Live broadcast on Spice Mornings.
Fight Where You Stand: Lessons from the Global Struggle Against Fascism and Racism
The Link print
A few weeks ago, my partner was riding the metro when two men got on the train.
Another man, sitting across from her, complimented them on the patches they were wearing, which read “A30B,” and carried a symbol resembling a Wolfsangel—a symbol of Nazi Germany.
The two men started talking to him in Eastern European accents, describing how they just arrived in Montreal, and were still finding their way around. The other man, a Quebecer, said that he could plug them in with the local movement.
Study finds white supremacist groups are on the rise in Canada: SFU research notes an uptick in radical activity following arrival of Syrian refugees
The Peak print
To many Canadians, the face of violent white supremacy wears the hood of the Klu Klux Klan and lives somewhere in the southern United States, or perhaps even in the past. However, a recent study co-authored by SFU criminology PhD candidate Ryan Scrivens and University of Ontario professor Dr. Barbara Perry suggests otherwise.
The Early Edition: Extremist Groups
AM 1150 radio
Live broadcast hosted by Phil Johnson and Gord Vizzutti.
Right wing extremism on the rise in Canada
News Examiner online
A study recently published by a trio of researchers entitled “Uneasy Alliances: A Look at the Right-Wing Extremist Movement in Canada” found that there are over a hundred such groups operating in the nation, most in British Columbia, Alberta, and Quebec. We aren’t talking about groups who simply espouse their hate and misinformation online then move along either; we are talking about groups that have carried out attacks and even murders on those whose political beliefs they don’t like.
Right wing extremism is alive and well in BC: SFU study
News 1130 AM - Vancouver's Breaking News, Traffic and Weather Station radio
Right wing extremists are flourishing in BC, Alberta and Quebec according to a new study out of SFU.
Co-author of the report, Ryan Scrivens says while these groups aren’t likely to be in Vancouver, they are present in parts of the province.
Right-Wing Extremism is Thriving in Canada
Vice News print
According to a new study, right-wing extremism in Canada is thriving — despite the fact that the movement is fragmented and plagued with infighting.
Over the course of three years, authors of a recent study, entitled Uneasy Alliances: A Look at the Right-Wing Extremist Movement in Canada, published in the journal Studies in Conflict & Terrorism, found at least 100 right-wing extremist groups operating in Canada, especially in Alberta, BC, and Quebec.
Southern Poverty Law Center releases shocking new report
National Observer online
In Canada, two researchers just released a report in early February titled Uneasy Alliances: A Look at the Right-Wing Extremist Movement in Canada.
The report is behind a journal paywall and the lead author, Ontario professor Barbara Perry, could not be reached for comment, but according to a piece in the Georgia Straight the researchers found about 100 right-wing extremist groups currently operating in Canada.
University researchers examine white supremacy activity in Canada
The Georgia Straight print
Two Canadian researchers—University of Ontario professor Barbara Perry and Simon Fraser University criminology PhD candidate Ryan Scrivens—worked on the project “Right Wing Extremism in Canada: An Environmental Scan" to examine the state of white power groups in the country. They published the results of their study "Uneasy Alliances: A Look at the Right-Wing Extremist Movement in Canada" in Studies in Conflict and Terrorism on February 5.
Right-wing extremist groups ‘prevalent’ across Canada, study warns
National Post print
Canada’s right-wing extremist movement is a motley crew of white supremacists, anti-government “sovereignists” and pro-militia crusaders who, despite being disorganized and prone to booze-fuelled in-fighting, are “more extensive and more active” than most people think, says a new study.
Hate crimes centre around sexual orientation: Oshawa professor
Oshawa This Week print
UOIT professor hopes to make difference with hate crime research
Event Appearances (22)
Missing Pieces and Misplaced Priorities: An Acknowledgement of Right Wing Extremism in Canada
Western Society of Criminology Annual Conference Vancouver, British Columbia
The “Right” Response to Right Wing Extremism in Canada
American Society of Criminology Annual Meeting Washington, DC
Right Wing Extremism in Canada: An Environmental Scan of the Current State of the Canadian “Movement"
71st Annual Meeting of American Society of Criminology San Francisco, California
Identifying and Responding to Right Wing Extremism
Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police Diversity Council Durham Regional Police Service Headquarters, Whitby, Ontario
White Pride Worldwide: Constructing Global Identities Online
Symposium on Internationalizing Hate Crime, Sussex University Brighton, United Kingdom
Visibilities, Vilification and Violence: Islamophobic Hate Crime in Canada (
Department of Sociology, Auckland University Auckland, New Zealand
Community Impacts of Hate Crime
Auckland University Auckland, New Zealand
Universal Suffering: A Global Continuum of Violence
Symposium on Regulating Emotions, Research Cluster in Emotions and Society University of Limerick, Ireland
Universal Suffering: Intervening Globally in Hate Crime
International Network for Hate Studies Conference University of Sussex, Brighton, United Kingdom
“Three Man Wrecking Crews”: Right Wing Extremism in Canada
Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences Annual Meeting Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Bound by the Code: Legal Constraints of Policing Gender-Motivated Violence in Canada
American Society of Criminology Annual Meeting Atlanta, Georgia
Seeing Muslims: Identities, Visibilities, and Islamophobic Violence in Canada
Nottingham-Trent University Nottingham, United Kingdom
Rejected and Dejected: The Impacts of Islamophobic Violence on Community Members
Scarman Public Lecture, University of Leicester Leicester, United Kingdom
I Don’t Know Where it is Safe: Trans Identified Womens' Experience of Violence
Explorations in Justice Conference, University of Albany Albany, New York
Right Wing Extremism in Canada: Preliminary Observations
Metropolis Conference Ottawa, Ontario
Community Impacts of Hate Crime
Ontario Provincial Police Blue Sky Conference on Hate Crime and Extremism Niagara Falls, Ontario
Confronting Homophobia: Full-day Workshop
Council of Social Services Timmins, Ontario
Right Wing Extremism in Canada: Acknowledging the Problem
Kanishka Opening Conference Ottawa, Ontario
UOIT’s Contribution to Oshawa’s Downtown Revitalization
Council of Colleges of Arts and Sciences Seattle, Washington
Community Impacts of Hate Crime
Hate Crime Symposium Toronto Police College
Impacts of Islamophobic Violence
Islamophobia Symposium Salaheddin Islamic Centre, Scarborough, Ontario
Promising Practices in Responding to Hate Crime
Hate Crime Symposium, Oxford Brookes University Oxford, United Kingdom
Research Grants (5)
More Than Paper Terrorists? A Closer Look at at Freemen-on-the-Land in Canada
The Canadian Network for Research on Terrorism, Security and Society $14270
FOTL refers to a loose movement of anti-statist/anti-authoritarians who challenge the validity of formal state law in favour of "natural" law or sometimes "God's" law. However, there is a dearth of information on FOTL in Canada. What is available is largely anecdotal, fragmentary and unsystematic. A more methodical approach to unpacking their sentiment and activities is warranted. The intent of this project is to engage multiple methodologies that allow us to effectively construct a robust picture of the FOTL movement in Canada.
Mediating Crime and Race: How Canadian Ethnic Minority Newspapers Construct Crime
SSHRC Insight Grant $6/1/2016
There is a growing body of literature on the nexus of media, race and crime, which reveals that crime is exaggerated in mainstream media, and that these same venues tend to racialize crime and criminalize race. The impact of this is to reinforce inaccurate public perceptions about the frequency, seriousness and demographic distribution of crime. Interestingly, however, there have been no focused efforts to explore the ways in which crime is featured within the media serving specific racial and ethnic communities. Little is known about whether such outlets reproduce these patterns. Thus, as co-investigator of this three-year research project, Dr. Perry is interested in uncovering the patterns of crime reporting in such venues, and in comparing the ways in which crime news is presented to different audiences.
Right Wing Extremism in Canada: An Environmental Scan
The Kanishka Project, Public Safety Canada $77304
Through a Public Safety Canada grant program, Dr. Perry is speaking with law enforcement and intelligence communities to identify the scope and nature of white supremacist movements largely between British Columbia and Quebec. Her research aims to identify factors that enable white supremacist groups to emerge; develop law enforcement training to help prevent their emergence; and understand how to disable groups that already exist.
Ethnic Lens: How Ethnic Minority Media Cover Crime
SSHRC Insight Development Grant $42930
PI, Aziz, D. CI, Perry, B.
Pilot Study of Islamophobic Violence, Violence Against Muslim Communities in Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal
PI, Perry, B.
Strategies to Combat Hate Crime and Ensure Safe Communities
Helen Kennedy, Executive Director Egale Canada Human Rights Trust
Egale Canada Human Rights Trust is Canada’s only national charity promoting lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGBT) human rights through research, education and community engagement. Since 2009, Dr. Perry has been actively involved in research aimed at advancing LGBT equality, diversity, education and justice, and serves in an advisory and consulting role. In 2011, Egale Canada announced a research partnership with Dr. Perry. Her current work explores violence against lesbians, gays, and trans women.
Studies in Conflict and Terrorism
Despite the Canadian Security Intelligence Service's recent concern with the growing threat from right-wing extremists nationwide, we have little contemporary scholarship on the far right movement in Canada and fewer attempts to systematically analyze their ideologies and activities. Drawing on a three-year study involving interviews with Canadian law enforcement officials, community organizations, and right-wing activists, as well as analyses of open source intelligence, this article examines the endogenous factors that facilitate and inhibit the right-wing extremist movement in Canada. Findings suggest that strengths and weaknesses of the groups themselves can be exploited as a means of debilitating them.
International Journal for Crime, Justice and Social Democracy
This paper traces the meanings and impacts of the increased and transformed visibility of Muslim communities in Canada, as evidenced through their experiences of surveillance and violence. It explores the contours of this visibility as well as the consequences. Relationships between Muslims and non-Muslims are shaped in and through hostility, harassment and violence which is directed toward increasingly visible Muslim communities. Guiding the analysis of the connections between visibility and hate crime is a frame that draws upon Brighenti’s ideal types of visibility: media-type, control-type and social-type.
Criminal Justice Policy Review
In 2013, a group of scholars from Europe and North America came together to form the International Network for Hate Studies. The key aims of the network included bridging gaps between academics and policy makers/practitioners in the field, and “internationalizing” our understanding of hate crime generally. In the spring of 2014, INHS held its inaugural conference at the University of Sussex in Brighton, UK. In this special edition of CJPR, we bring together expanded versions of 4 of the keynote speeches from that conference. In distinct ways, each speaks to the key themes noted above, as this brief introduction will illustrate.
Criminal Justice Policy Review
Deriving insights from the array of papers delivered across the course of the conference, this article highlights proactive and reactive approaches to hate crime from across the globe. It addresses both state-level and nongovernmental organization (NGO) responses, including legislation, police policy and practice, education, and public awareness initiatives. It also considers the potential limitations associated with some of these.
American Behavioral Scientist
While Canada proclaims itself to be among the most diverse and inclusive nations, the persistence of hate crime challenges this vision. The “myth of multiculturalism” is laid bare by exclusionary acts of harassment and violence. This article traces the tropes of multiculturalism before assessing the ways in which bias-motivated violence reveals the fissures in this facade. Optimistically, however, it concludes with a consideration of the unintended constructive impacts of ongoing patterns of hostility. That is, the rhetoric of multiculturalism still has some capacity to provide a foundation for critical discourse inspired by victimization.
Journal of Hate Studies
The theme of the Third International Conference on Hate Studies, “The Pursuit of Justice: Understanding Hatred, Confronting Intolerance, Eliminating Inequality,” took me immediately to the subject matter of this article: Who is meant to be served by the subthemes of this conference, if not the targets or potential targets of hate crime? An equally important set of questions would ask: What justice looks like from the perspectives of those individuals and groups? What do hate crime victims want, and what do they need? And, what do vulnerable communities want and need?
Scholars are only beginning to take account of how trans people experience violence motivated by their gender identity and expression. Based on a series of focus groups and interviews across Canada, this article aims to further this area of inquiry. The fear of victimization, and thus hyper-vigilance, seems to be particularly acute among trans women. Many of them spoke of the multiple and complex layers through which they defined “safety” and lack thereof. We share their experiences and perceptions of the threat of hate motivated violence, and their subsequent reactions.
Journal of International Criminal Justice Research
Police officers’ perceptions of gender-motivated violence against women have been overlooked in hate crime research. In an attempt to bridge a gap in the literature, the researchers examined how nine police officers from Ontario, Canada conceptualized gender-motivated violence using vignettes, sentence-completion tasks, and an interview guide. Here, officers were asked about their perceptions of and experience with hate crime and gender-motivated hate crime. Results indicate that the majority of participants do not perceive instances of violence against women as hate crime. This seems to be explained by officers’ understandings of the definitional constraints of legal terms, ambiguous motives, the typical victims of hate notion, and the masculinist police culture.
Social Identities: Journal for the Study of Race, Nation and Culture
Post 9/11, most western nations have seen dramatic increases in bias motivated violence against Muslims and those perceived to be Muslim. Predicated on the long-lived vilification of Muslims by the media and the state, such violence is a reactionary reminder of Muslims' outsider status. Interestingly, little attention has been paid to the particular vulnerability of women and girls to anti-Muslim hate crime. This paper begins such a dialogue.
Journal of Homosexuality
Hate crime scholars have long argued that the harms of hate crime extend beyond the immediate victim to negatively impact the victim’s reference community. However, this assertion is speculative and in need of empirical support. Utilizing focus group data from 15 people who identified as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or pansexual, this pilot study explored the extent to which the harms of anti-LGB hate crime spread beyond the immediate victim to impact nonvictims in the LGB community. The findings suggest that anti-LGB hate violence can have profound and negative effects on the psychological and emotional well-being of nonvictims who are LGB and may result in dramatic behavioral change as well. The findings also indicate that hate violence negatively affected participants’ decisions to disclose their sexual orientation to others. On a more positive note, however, awareness of such violence may also mobilize some people within the LGB community.