‘Be a Man. Not a Bitch.’ Snitching, the Inmate Code and the Narrative Reconstruction of Masculinity in a Norwegian Prison

Men, Masculinities and the Criminological Field. I. Lander, N. Jon and S. Ravn (eds), Ashgate 2014, 57-70.

17 Pages Posted: 23 Jan 2015  

Thomas Ugelvik

University of Oslo

Date Written: January 21, 2015

Abstract

Many prisoners experience the everyday life on the wings as characterized by the various pains of imprisonment detailed by Sykes (1958). If one understands a prison as a gendered space, these pains may all be reconceptualized as masculinity challenges. Based on ethnographic field work in a Norwegian remand prison, I will explore a particular part of the so-called inmate code – the prohibition against snitching – and argue that this imperative may be seen as connected to more general cultural ideals of manhood. In this chapter, I will show how stories about snitching (and not snitching) are used by prisoners when they narratively reposition themselves as ‘real men’ within the emasculating and infantilizing context that is the prison.

Keywords: Masculinities, prison culture, snitching, inmate code, narrative criminology

Suggested Citation

Ugelvik, Thomas, ‘Be a Man. Not a Bitch.’ Snitching, the Inmate Code and the Narrative Reconstruction of Masculinity in a Norwegian Prison (January 21, 2015). Men, Masculinities and the Criminological Field. I. Lander, N. Jon and S. Ravn (eds), Ashgate 2014, 57-70.. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2553215

Thomas Ugelvik (Contact Author)

University of Oslo ( email )

PO Box 6706 St Olavs plass
Oslo, N-0317
Norway

HOME PAGE: http://www.jus.uio.no/ikrs/personer/vit/thomawis/index.html

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