Meanings of the experience of incarceration and the (re)construction of identity of women inmates: A qualitative study

Published: Δεκ 15, 2018
imprisoned women narrative identity photo-elicitation technique narrative approach
Μαρία-Ισμήνη Κερώση
Ευρυνόμη Αυδή
This study aimed to explore how women in confinement attribute meaning to their experience in prison and, at the same time, how they (re)construct their narrative identity as they visualize their future through the use of photographs. The study was part of a broader research titled “Phototherapy in prisons”. Six imprisoned women participated in the study. The technique of photo-elicitation in interviews was adopted and women created life narrative using the medium of photo-stories . The material was analysed using narrative analysis. Through the analysis two main narrative types emerged; a restitution narrative and a partial regeneration narrative. Significant topics in the women’s life narrative included issues of responsibility, gender as a factor in women’s involvement in criminal activities, the perceptions of imprisonment and participants’ desire to distance themselves from the experience following their release from prison. The findings of this study help better understand the experience of imprisonment, taking into account the role of gender, and highlight the contribution of alternative methods of study when working with people who have limited opportunities to voice their experiences. In addition, findings provide insight regarding the design of trauma focused interventions in prison with the aim of more fully preparing the women for the transition to life in the community.
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