The virtual reality of Russian prisons: the impact of social media on prisoner agency and prison structure in Russian prisons

Laura Piacentini, Elena Katz

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    32 Downloads (Pure)

    Abstract

    Prison agencies around the world are reporting a rise in the use of illicit communication devices in prison. Nevertheless, there is very little prison sociological research into how prisoners themselves communicate online. Using Russia as a case study, this paper reports findings from new research on how prisoners are engaging with the internet and the effects of this on prisoner agency and prison structure. Our main finding is that Russian penality sits at the nexus of two processes. First, it is de-institutionalised in that the prison, discursively speaking, is no longer fixed to a built form. Second, it is reflexively re-territorialised in that it places prisoner agency onto a third space. The paper presents a new conceptual framework of ‘prisoners as absent’, which reflects penality in Russia as culturally contingent and politically resilient. The interplay between de-institutionalisation and re-territorialisation has produced on a new penal imaginary - a carceral motif for the twenty first century - in the form of a virtual world.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)183-204
    Number of pages22
    JournalOñati Socio-Legal Series
    Volume8
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2018

    Fingerprint

    social media
    virtual reality
    prisoner
    correctional institution
    Russia
    social research
    institutionalization
    twenty-first century
    speaking
    Internet
    communication

    Keywords

    • Russia
    • prisoners
    • agency
    • social media
    • absentism

    Cite this

    @article{91a9a078c2cf4cf4aee4dfc04890acdd,
    title = "The virtual reality of Russian prisons: the impact of social media on prisoner agency and prison structure in Russian prisons",
    abstract = "Prison agencies around the world are reporting a rise in the use of illicit communication devices in prison. Nevertheless, there is very little prison sociological research into how prisoners themselves communicate online. Using Russia as a case study, this paper reports findings from new research on how prisoners are engaging with the internet and the effects of this on prisoner agency and prison structure. Our main finding is that Russian penality sits at the nexus of two processes. First, it is de-institutionalised in that the prison, discursively speaking, is no longer fixed to a built form. Second, it is reflexively re-territorialised in that it places prisoner agency onto a third space. The paper presents a new conceptual framework of ‘prisoners as absent’, which reflects penality in Russia as culturally contingent and politically resilient. The interplay between de-institutionalisation and re-territorialisation has produced on a new penal imaginary - a carceral motif for the twenty first century - in the form of a virtual world.",
    keywords = "Russia, prisoners, agency, social media, absentism",
    author = "Laura Piacentini and Elena Katz",
    note = "Dr Laura Piacentini, FRSE is Professor of Criminology at the School of Social Work and Social Policy and Dr Elena Katz is Senior Teaching Fellow at the School of Geography and Environmental Sciences at the University of Oxford.",
    year = "2018",
    month = "6",
    day = "1",
    language = "English",
    volume = "8",
    pages = "183--204",
    journal = "O{\~n}ati Socio-Legal Series",
    issn = "2079-5971",
    number = "2",

    }

    The virtual reality of Russian prisons : the impact of social media on prisoner agency and prison structure in Russian prisons. / Piacentini, Laura; Katz, Elena.

    In: Oñati Socio-Legal Series, Vol. 8, No. 2, 01.06.2018, p. 183-204.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    TY - JOUR

    T1 - The virtual reality of Russian prisons

    T2 - the impact of social media on prisoner agency and prison structure in Russian prisons

    AU - Piacentini, Laura

    AU - Katz, Elena

    N1 - Dr Laura Piacentini, FRSE is Professor of Criminology at the School of Social Work and Social Policy and Dr Elena Katz is Senior Teaching Fellow at the School of Geography and Environmental Sciences at the University of Oxford.

    PY - 2018/6/1

    Y1 - 2018/6/1

    N2 - Prison agencies around the world are reporting a rise in the use of illicit communication devices in prison. Nevertheless, there is very little prison sociological research into how prisoners themselves communicate online. Using Russia as a case study, this paper reports findings from new research on how prisoners are engaging with the internet and the effects of this on prisoner agency and prison structure. Our main finding is that Russian penality sits at the nexus of two processes. First, it is de-institutionalised in that the prison, discursively speaking, is no longer fixed to a built form. Second, it is reflexively re-territorialised in that it places prisoner agency onto a third space. The paper presents a new conceptual framework of ‘prisoners as absent’, which reflects penality in Russia as culturally contingent and politically resilient. The interplay between de-institutionalisation and re-territorialisation has produced on a new penal imaginary - a carceral motif for the twenty first century - in the form of a virtual world.

    AB - Prison agencies around the world are reporting a rise in the use of illicit communication devices in prison. Nevertheless, there is very little prison sociological research into how prisoners themselves communicate online. Using Russia as a case study, this paper reports findings from new research on how prisoners are engaging with the internet and the effects of this on prisoner agency and prison structure. Our main finding is that Russian penality sits at the nexus of two processes. First, it is de-institutionalised in that the prison, discursively speaking, is no longer fixed to a built form. Second, it is reflexively re-territorialised in that it places prisoner agency onto a third space. The paper presents a new conceptual framework of ‘prisoners as absent’, which reflects penality in Russia as culturally contingent and politically resilient. The interplay between de-institutionalisation and re-territorialisation has produced on a new penal imaginary - a carceral motif for the twenty first century - in the form of a virtual world.

    KW - Russia

    KW - prisoners

    KW - agency

    KW - social media

    KW - absentism

    UR - http://opo.iisj.net/index.php/osls

    UR - http://opo.iisj.net/index.php/osls/article/view/895

    M3 - Article

    VL - 8

    SP - 183

    EP - 204

    JO - Oñati Socio-Legal Series

    JF - Oñati Socio-Legal Series

    SN - 2079-5971

    IS - 2

    ER -