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Title: Learning to serve time : troubling spaces of working class masculinities in the UK
Author: Maguire, David
ISNI:       0000 0004 6497 527X
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2016
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This thesis is an exploration of the classed and gendered trajectories that lead to 'revolving door' incarceration for a group of men from working class backgrounds. Considering that men commit most crime and, in the UK, account for over 95% of the prison population, there is relatively little scholarship that explores the links between masculinity and crime and almost a dearth of ethnographic enquiry into the links between the social construction of masculinities and incarceration. In response, this study, employing qualitative in-depth life history interviews with thirty male prisoners housed in an East Yorkshire prison, examines the cyclical interrelations between cultural representations of masculinity, place, schooling, employment, crime and incarceration. Influenced by Connell's theoretical framework, including the relational concept of protest masculinities, and by the Teesside School's work on transitions and alternative careers, the main aim of this research is to examine if, and to what extent, significant cultural and institutional spaces were complicit in the construction and maintenance of versions of protest masculinities. The study reveals that masculinities negotiated over interconnecting sites of deprived neighbourhoods, inadequate children's residential 'care' homes and failing schools better prepared most respondents to serve time in prison than to work in contemporary deindustrialised labour markets. Formative teenage years spent negotiating impoverished prison regimes and living up to extreme prison masculinities contributed to many of the respondents spending more time inside prison than 'on the out'. The thesis concludes with recommendations for policy approaches to better facilitate crucial sites, such as schools and prisons, undoing, rather than reinforcing, troubling gender performances for young boys and men like these respondents. Reducing rising male prison populations, mainly made up of men from deprived neighbourhoods, might be more effectively tackled through innovative, gender informed, policy, ensuring that institutional spaces of learning, 'care', punishment and rehabilitation work harder to open up more positive avenues to doing masculinity.
Supervisor: McDowell, Linda Sponsor: Economic and Social Research Council
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: sociology ; men's studies ; gender studies ; Human geography ; criminology ; prison ; class ; men ; unemployment ; crime ; education ; masculinities ; youth transitions ; prison masculinities ; breadwinner ; deindustrialisation