Presentation of a literature review on deviance in Montreal public spaces

News, Student Alliance News

20 August 2018

Grasping an object of study in a given territory necessarily involves understanding its history and specificities. Paco Garcia was tasked to identify work on deviance in the Montreal context.

The TRYSPACES partnership is driven by a common and transversal interest: that of studying the interactions of young people in public spaces, with a particular focus on transgressions. However, transgression manifests itself differently in various places, eras and contexts. Since each context is specific, and each place has its own memory, it is important to develop a better understanding of these influences on the manifestations of transgression (or transgressive actions) before getting into the heart of the matter…

Paco Garcia has been working under the supervision of Valérie Amiraux (UdeM) and in collaboration with Leslie Touré Kapo (INRS-UCS) to identify work on deviance in the Montreal context. He focused more particularly on youth. The objective for this work was to build a database to centralise academic literature on behaviours and phenomenons related to ‘deviance’, as this concept is understood in the Montreal sociological context.


Objectives pursued in the constitution of this database:
1) Identify studies of deviance produced in various social science disciplines in Montreal, highlight recurrences among them.
2) Date the appearance of ‘deviant’ phenomenons in the social science literature in Montreal.
3) Draw connections between territories (often at the scale of the island’s boroughs) and problems.


The first stage therefore consisted of compiling 250  academic documents on deviance produced in various disciplines of the social sciences (sociology, anthropology, criminology, social work). These included articles, theses, dissertations and reports which the team classified and coded. A bibliometric analysis of this database has made it possible to bring out recurrences, in terms of methods, disciplines, objects, territories…

A presentation of this literature review was presented by Paco Garcia to the TRYMONTREAL team  on March 16, 2018 at INRS. This hour-long presentation was followed by a discussion on notions and ideas that are contextually-related to transgression. This discussion naturally led participants to talk about the TRYMONTREAL case studies and their innovative potential.

A reference database (Zotero, EndNote) was constituted through this literature review. It will be shared with interested members of the TRYSPACES partnership. This work has set the first stage of a more extensive review on the notions of urban security and youth in Montreal. This review is currently underway, led by Leslie Touré Kapo and Paco Garcia. A first article on the notions of homelessness and gang membership is already under press in the journal “Cycles sociologiques” (UdeM). We will keep you informed of its online publication.

Cover photo credits: Mélissa Moriceau