Institutions | About Us | Help | Gaeilge
rian logo

Go Back
Prisoner learners’ perspectives of prison education within the total institution of the prison: a life history methodological approach
Jane, Carrigan
The objective of this thesis is to access adult male prisoner learners’ experiences of prison education in a 21st century Irish prison setting with the purpose of analysing, using Goffman’s (1961) concept of a total institution, the role prison education plays both within individual lives and within the total institution of the prison in order to offer suggestions for reform of prison education and educational practice in general. A life history methodological approach was adopted for this work and the life histories of eighteen adult male prisoners, who were attending prison school within the total institutions of Mountjoy Prison, St. Patrick’s Institution and Limerick Prison, were collated. Prisoner learners in these three prison sites were interviewed, at least twice, and transcripts of interviews were subsequently coded and analysed thematically. This thesis takes place within a theoretical framework which primarily uses Erving Goffman’s concept of a total institution but also includes Michel Foucault’s examination of prison and power. In addressing the fundamental research question as to how prisoner learners experience prison education within the total institution of the prison, two related sub-questions emerged and are addressed in this doctoral work. These pertain firstly to the institution of the prison itself, how it operates and its impact on prison education participation and secondly to prisoners’ previous educational and life experiences. The narratives of those confined are largely absent in the work o f both Goffman and Foucault and this lacuna is addressed in this thesis. Data generated from the life history interviews revealed prisoner learners to be knowledgeable agents who were able to discuss, reflect and critique their previous educational and life experiences as well as offer their perspectives of both prison education and their decision to engage or reengage with education within the context of imprisonment. Eighteen recommendations are made in the conclusion of this research and these recommendations have implications for both penal and educational policy and practice.
Keyword(s): Adult education; Education; male prison education; Irish prisons; prisoner life experiences; Erving Goffman; Michel Foucault
Publication Date:
Type: Other
Peer-Reviewed: Unknown
Language(s): English
Contributor(s): Maunsell, Catherine; Downes, Paul
Institution: Dublin City University
Citation(s): Jane, Carrigan (2013) Prisoner learners’ perspectives of prison education within the total institution of the prison: a life history methodological approach. PhD thesis, Dublin City University.
Publisher(s): Dublin City University. Institute of Education
File Format(s): application/pdf
Related Link(s):
First Indexed: 2018-07-27 06:05:23 Last Updated: 2019-02-09 06:06:37