Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS: https://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.804400
Title: Queer in the prison? : what does it mean to be 'out' inside?
Author: Harris, Mia
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2019
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Abstract:
There is growing criminological interest in marginalised genders and sexualities, and a developing literature exploring the experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) prisoners. However, these nascent and interconnected fields of study are notably underdeveloped in the UK. Little is known about gender and sexuality orders in British prisons, and the experiences of LGBT people therein. This thesis seeks to address these gaps through presenting and analysing rich, qualitative data. It draws on formal interviews with 60 prisoners and staff across one men’s and one women’s establishment, the analysis of relevant documents at these prisons, written correspondence with 67 prisoners, and 7 interviews with related professionals. Methodologically, this thesis provides insights into gathering data and upholding research ethics when researching LGBT inmates, and offers a detailed exploration of LGBT researcher positionality – a topic almost absent from British criminology. This thesis emphasises the need for British prisons scholars to abandon the idea that men’s establishments hold all, and exclusively, male prisoners, while female establishments hold all, and exclusively, female prisoners. Prisoners with minoritised genders are not always easily discernable, sometimes actively concealing their identities, and at other times hidden by cisnormative assumptions. Likewise, some sexual minorities are more visible than others. Examining how prisoners construct and communicate gender and sexuality, this thesis demonstrates that being in prison can lead to shifts in identity through encountering different labels and entering same-sex relationships for the first time. The nature of romantic and/or sexual relationships, and staff responses to them, are explored in depth. Furthermore, this thesis demonstrates how broader horizontal relationships between prisoners, and vertical relationships with staff, affect how prisoners understand and present their gender and sexuality. It documents staff and prisoners’ support and subjugation of people who identify as, or are presumed to be, LGBT, and the active responses of prisoners to discrimination. Concluding by presenting its limitations, the thesis suggests avenues for much-needed future research.
Supervisor: Condry, Rachel Sponsor: Economic and Social Research Council
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.804400  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Criminology ; Queer Criminology
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