Roberta S. Pamplona on the Symbolic and Transformative Alignments Toward Feminicídio Legal Reform in Brazil

August 2, 2023 by Selina Zheng

Vanier Scholar Roberta S. Pamplona recently published her practicum paper on Social Politics titled Symbolic and Transformative: Alignments Toward Feminicídio Legal Reform inside the Brazilian Police. Pamplona is an international student from Brazil going into her fourth year in the sociology Ph.D. program here at the University of Toronto. As a part of her research focus, which analyzes how feminist movements impact our understanding of violence and the implementation of public policies concerning gender-based violence, Pamplona conducted a case-study on how law enforcement actors adopt a feminist legal reform through the impacts of the Brazilian Feminicídio Law.

Pamplona’s findings highlight that state actors' adoption of a feminist legal frame is affected by their institutional context, which actively influences their professional beliefs and interests. While officers in the women's police division perceived the legal reform as an opportunity to claim changes inside law enforcement, officers in the homicide division showed a symbolic alignment by recognizing the importance of the legal reform but not seeking to change investigation patterns or police training. These differences demonstrated how officers' previous work experiences and internal relations influence the adoption of feminist frames within state institutions. 

Her research underscored the need to consider the multiple ways in which feminist institutionalization can occur and emphasized the importance of understanding the historical context of previous feminist struggles and how they continue to influence current legal reforms. Overall, the paper contributes to our understanding of the complex dynamics of adopting feminist ideas within state institutions.

Congratulations again to Roberta S. Pamplona for this excellent piece of academic work! You can read the full paper here.