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Working title of PhD: Visualising Physical Violence in Men’s Prisons

Year commenced PhD study: 2019

Institution/Organisation: The University of Edinburgh

Full or part-time: Full-time

PhD Supervisors: Dr Hugo Gorringe, Prof Richard Sparks

Synopsis of PhD:

The project will via CCTV analyse the micro-dynamics of violent episodes in prisons along with their circumstances with the purpose of understanding the factors that impact the occurrence of interpersonal violence amongst male prisoners.

The research seeks to explore how useful Visual Data Analysis (VDA) is in enhancing the understanding of the course, context, and consequences of violent incidents in men’s prisons. There are two sub-themes within this:

  • Theoretically; what are the uses and limitations of Randall Collins’ theory of violence in studying and conceptualising prison violence?
  • Methodologically; to what extend does the use of video footage shed light on the impact of different actors in minimising or amplifying the scale and consequences of violent incidents?

The project sets out to examine the extent to which a better understanding of the context and consequences of violence in prisons can be obtained by the use of VDA. The project, furthermore, sets out to assess the uses and limitations of Randall Collins’ theory of violence in the study and conceptualisation of prison violence and, finally, evaluate the extent to which video data can be used to illuminate the impact of different actors in minimising or amplifying the outcome of violent interaction. The project also aims to further the methodological framework including the ethical guidelines, both of which are currently limited, leaving it up the researchers to assess risk and value.

The purpose of the project is to shed light on physical prison violence via video data  to assess the value of the emerging methodology of VDA while also contributing to the framework and ethical apparatus of video data research. Finally, the project is intended to contribute to the development of the conceptualisation of violence by enquiring into the value of situational dynamics, thus furthering the micro-level/interactional approach to violence.

Recent publications

Qvist-Baudry EE. Book Review: Ritual, Emotion, Violence: Studies on the Micro-Sociology of Randall Collins. Sociological Research Online. 2020;25(1):157-158. http://doi:10.1177/1360780419846511

Research Themes

Punishment, Citizenship and Communities

No Publications Available

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