Re-writing punishment? Songs and narrative problem-solving

Thomas, P. C. , McNeill, F. , Cathcart Froden, L., Collinson Scott, J., Escobar, O. and Urie, A. (2021) Re-writing punishment? Songs and narrative problem-solving. Incarceration, 2(1), (doi: 10.1177/26326663211000239)

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This article analyses findings from the Economic and Social Research Council/Arts and Humanities Research Council (ESRC/AHRC)-funded ‘Distant Voices – Coming Home’ project (ES/POO2536/1), which uses creative methods to explore crime, punishment and reintegration. Focusing on songs co-written in Scottish prisons, we argue that the songs serve to complicate and substantiate our grasp of what state punishment does to people, as well as perhaps affording their prison-based co-writers both moments and modalities of resistance to dominant narratives within criminal justice. In doing so, they creatively express and explore affective and perhaps even unconscious aspects of the self. We argue that our work contributes to a more expansive and considered treatment of narrative in criminology; one that admits and engages with a more diverse and creative range of expressions of experience and selfhood, all of them partial and some of them contradictory. By attending to diverse kinds of narratives embodied in these songs, we learn more about what criminalisation, penalisation and incarceration do to people and to their stories.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:The project was funded by the ESRC/AHRC (Grant Number: ES/POO2536/1).
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Cathcart Froden, Lucy and Escobar, Mr Oliver and McNeill, Professor Fergus and Thomas, Dr Phil and Urie, Ms Alison
Authors: Thomas, P. C., McNeill, F., Cathcart Froden, L., Collinson Scott, J., Escobar, O., and Urie, A.
College/School:College of Social Sciences
College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences
College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Sociology Anthropology and Applied Social Sciences
Journal Name:Incarceration
ISSN (Online):2632-6663
Published Online:01 March 2021
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2021 The Authors
First Published:First published in Incarceration 2(1)
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
174003Distant Voices: Coming HomeFergus McNeillEconomic and Social Research Council (ESRC)ES/P002536/1S&PS - Sociology