Embodying Prison Pain: Women's Experiences of Self-Injury Practices in Prison and the Emotions of Punishment
Chamberlen, A. (2016) ' Embodying Prison Pain: Women's Experiences of Self-Injury Practices in Prison and the Emotions of Punishment', Theoretical Criminology, Vol. 20 no. 2 pp. 205-219.
17 Pages Posted: 11 May 2016 Last revised: 20 May 2016
Date Written: June 10, 2015
This paper explores the meanings and motivations of self-injury practices as disclosed in interviews with a small group of female former prisoners in England. In considering their testimonies through a feminist perspective, I seek to illuminate aspects of their experiences of imprisonment that go beyond the ‘pains of imprisonment’ literature. Specifically, I examine their accounts of self-injury with a focus on the embodied aspects of their experiences. In so doing, I highlight the materiality of the emotional harms of their prison experiences. I suggest that the pains of imprisonment are still very much inscribed on and expressed through the prisoner’s body. This paper advances a more theoretically situated, interdisciplinary critique of punishment drawn from medical-sociological, phenomenological and feminist scholarship.
Keywords: Embodiment, bodies, emotions, imprisonment, punishment, women prisoners
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