The Art of the Possible: Epistemological Turns and Counter-turns

Coretta Phillips

in The Multicultural Prison

Published in print November 2012 | ISBN: 9780199697229
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191760556 | DOI:

Series: Clarendon Studies in Criminology

The Art of the Possible: Epistemological Turns and Counter-turns

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The epistemological and methodological parameters of the study are delineated in his chapter. Prison ethnographic practice is situated within contemporary anthropological debates concerning representation, positionality, reflexivity, and the postmodern and autobiographical ‘turns’. The contingent nature of the fieldwork process is examined, recognising the specific dynamics of the ‘closed’ world of the prison and the relevance of biographical histories and identities in the co-construction of knowledge by researchers and prisoners in ethnographic practice. The reader is introduced to the two research sites, HMYOI Rochester and HMP Maidstone, with brief histories, and details of the research methods used to explore prisoners' multiple and complex identities.

Keywords: reflexivity; gender; methodology; ethnography; masculinity; observation; interviews

Chapter.  11133 words. 

Subjects: Criminal Law

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