Everyday Life in a Prison : Confinement, Surveillance, Resistance

Mahuya Bandyopadhyay, Orient Blackswan, 2010, 354 p, ISBN : 9788125038337, $55.00 (Includes free airmail shipping)

Everyday Life in a Prison : Confinement, Surveillance, Resistance/Mahuya Bandyopadhyay

Contents: Foreword by Lorna A. Rhodes. Preface. Part 1. Prison Life: The ethnographic Context: 1. Mapping the Prison: Spaces, People and Research Issues. 2. Under Constant Surveillance: Fieldwork in a Prison. Part 2. The Everyday In Prison: 1. Prison Rules: Structures and Interpretations. 2. Everyday Prison Lives: Meaning and Subversive Practices. Part 3. Beyond Prison Walls: 1. Reform and Everyday Practice: Some Issues of Prison Governance. 2. ‘Jibon-Kahini’: Narrative Renderings of Pre-Prison Lives. Part 4. Conclusion: Interactional Spaces : Prison Life and ‘Para’ Life. Glossary. Bibliography. Index.

"Based on intensive fieldwork in a central prison in Kolkata, this book succinctly addresses issues in the sociology of institutions and organisations. It demystifies the image of the prison as an presenting a close understanding of lives and practices within its four walls.

The book finds answers to such questions as: Is the prison a negative space? Does meaningful life cease to exist in a prison? Are there aspects of life of which prisoners are unable to make sense? What does the construction of meaningful worlds mean for organisational practice and goals? How do everyday life, organisational practice and goals interact, and what are the implications of this interaction for the nature of the organisation and the quality of prison life? The author thus constructs the prison as a space where inmates make meaningful social worlds that emerge out of despair.

Marking a departure from the existing sociological studies on prisons in India, Everyday Life in a Prison: Confinement, Surveillance, Resistance highlights the relationship between the prison and the people on whose lives it impinges. Methodologically, this work is significant as it observation, rapport-building, qualitative interviewing and ethnographic involvement in a prison.

Introducing readers to a whole new world within the prison, this book will be useful to students and scholars of sociology, psychology, social work and human rights."

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