← Back to Event List

Distinguished Lecture in Psychology

with Dr. Raquel Matos, Universidade Católica Portuguesa


University Center : 310

Date & Time

April 30, 2024, 4:00 pm5:30 pm


Raquel Matos, Ph.D.

Associate Professor/Researcher
The Research Centre for Human Development
Director of the Faculty of Education and Psychology
Universidade Católica Portuguesa

A 50 years ‘celebration’:
Examining 5 decades of Mass Incarceration and Gender Studies

2023 marked 50 years of mass incarceration, as the number of prisons and the population behind bars have dramatically increased globally over the past five decades. The early 2020s also marked half a century of research into gender, violence, and social control – a thematic focus that has defined my academic journey. As I coincidentally celebrated my 50th birthday in 2023, in this lecture I propose to reflect on the evolution of my field of study throughout my lifetime. I will begin by drawing a picture of prisons and gender and crime studies from 1973 to 2023, to discuss the advances (or setbacks) in incarceration policies and in the response to the critiques of the feminist perspectives in criminology over those 50 years. To conclude, I will question whether the starting point for the forthcoming years differs from the circumstances we faced five decades ago, regarding gender and incarceration.

Raquel Matos is an Associate Professor/Researcher at the Research Centre for Human Development and Director of the Faculty of Education and Psychology at the Universidade Católica Portuguesa. She completed her PhD in Psychology in 2007 at the University of Minho, where she presented the thesis “The rare lives of ordinary women: life pathways, meanings of crime and identity construction.”  In the last decades she has developed research projects on gender, crime, and imprisonment and published articles and book chapters on women in prison, as well as on gender and migration control. More recently, she has been researching in the area of juvenile delinquency being particularly interested in exploring the life paths and experiences of young people in the justice system. In this context, she has coordinated several European projects in Portugal, with emphasis on the PROMISE Project (“Promoting Youth Involvement and Social Engagement – Opportunities and challenges for ‘conflicted’ young people across Europe”), funded by Horizon 2020.

Throughout her career, she has networked with academics from other scientific areas, in particular sociology, anthropology, and law, and with academics and professionals from other countries. She has been a visiting researcher at the Universities of Bath (2004; 2005), Toronto (2012), and Oxford (2013).

Organized by the Department of Psychology and cosponsored by the Center for Social Science Scholarship.