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marti irene - doing indefinite time

Doing Indefinite Time An Ethnography of Long-Term Imprisonment in Switzerland

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Lingua: Inglese
Pubblicazione: 10/2022
Edizione: 1st ed. 2023


This open access book provides insights into the everyday lives of long-term prisoners in Switzerland who are labelled as ‘dangerous’ and are preventatively held in indefinite, probably lifelong, incarceration. It explores prisoners’ manifold ways of inhabiting the prison which can be used to challenge well established notions about the experience of imprisonment, such as ‘adaptation’, ‘coping’, and ‘resistance’. Drawing on ethnographic data generated in two high-security prisons housing male offenders, this book explores how the various spaces of the prison affect prisoners’ sense of self and experience of time, and how, in particular, the indeterminate nature of their imprisonment affects their perceptions of place and space.

It sheds light on prisoners’ subjective, emplaced and embodied perceptions of the prisons' various everyday time-spaces in the cell, at work, and during leisure time, and the forms of agency they express. It provides insight into prisoners’ everyday habits, practices, routines, and rhythms as well as the profoundly existential issues that are engendered, (re)arranged, and anchored in these everyday contexts. It also offers insights into the penal policies, norms, and practices developed and followed by prison authorities and staff.


1. Introduction.- 2. Indefinite confinement in Switzerland.- 3. Space, time, embodiment.- 4. Institutional context, key actors, sentenced prisoners.- 5. In the prison cell.- 6. At work.- 7. During leisure time.- 8. Conclusion.


Irene Marti is a post-doctoral researcher at the Institute for Penal Law and Criminology at the University of Bern and at the Institute of Cultural Anthropology and European Ethnology at the University of Basel, Switzerland. Since 2013, she has been a member of the Prison Research Group at the University of Bern.

Altre Informazioni



Condizione: Nuovo
Collana: Palgrave Studies in Prisons and Penology
Dimensioni: 210 x 148 mm Ø 481 gr
Formato: Brossura
Illustration Notes:XIII, 353 p. 41 illus., 36 illus. in color.
Pagine Arabe: 353
Pagine Romane: xiii

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