Life behind bars: can prison be better than this?

Anastasia Chamberlen is Assistant Professor in Sociology at the Department of Sociology, University of Warwick and is researching in the fields of prison sociology, feminist criminology and criminal justice.

English and Welsh prisons are undergoing one of their most challenging periods in decades. As I’m writing this piece, news emerges of yet another outbreak of violence in an English prison. This time, it’s the high security HMP Long Lartin in Worcestershire, a prison described by the Ministry of Justice as ‘well-staffed’, which saw 81 prisoners take over a wing, raising once again concerns about safety and order in English carceral institutions.

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Doubting gender. Or why it is best to leave certain questions unanswered

Kristin Hübner, is a PhD student at the Department of Sociology at the University of Warwick.

Kristin Hubner

Her piece ‘Doubting gender. Or why it is best to leave certain questions unanswered’ finished in the top 10 of the ESRC’s writing competition, The World in 2065– in collaboration with academic publishers, SAGE.  

“Any social scientist who tries to predict the future should be regarded with healthy distrust”, I was told by my professor during one of my first sociology lectures which, ironically, dealt with the subject of social change. If this quote is to be believed, then the following paragraphs can only be understood as a work of fiction. Confronted with the choice between dystopia and utopia I chose the latter, believing and hoping that constructions of reality can eventually create a tangible reality.

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