Welcome to Malaya Rodina ('Little Homeland')

gender and penal order in a Russian penal colony

L.F. Piacentini, Judith Pallot, Dominique Moran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This article presents findings from research conducted in a penal colony for young women in Russia. Russia's penal system remains under-researched in socio-legal and criminological scholarship. This contribution is the first multi-disciplinary study of Russian imprisonment to be conducted in the post-Soviet period, bringing together criminology, human geography and law. The collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 was a landmark moment in Russia's penal trajectory due to the excessive scale and use of imprisonment as a political and cultural corrective. Our findings reveal the punishment of young women in Russia as exceptional and exclusionary. Personnel play a crucial role in shaping penal strategies that encourage young women to adopt blame and shame sensibilities. We develop a conceptualization of Russian penality as it relates to young women prisoners. We argue that the prisoner transport is the first stage in a continuum where gender, penal order and culture come together come together to create a specific penological place identity, which we conceptualize as Malaya Rodina (Little Homeland). We conclude that Russia's penal geography, and its attendant penological imagination, is a vestige of the Soviet penal monolith.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)523-542
Number of pages20
JournalSocial and Legal Studies
Volume18
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2009

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Homelands
Russia
gender
imprisonment
prisoner
geography
criminology
shame
USSR
penalty
personnel
Law

Keywords

  • distance
  • gender
  • L’govo
  • prisons
  • Russia
  • transportation
  • women

Cite this

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abstract = "This article presents findings from research conducted in a penal colony for young women in Russia. Russia's penal system remains under-researched in socio-legal and criminological scholarship. This contribution is the first multi-disciplinary study of Russian imprisonment to be conducted in the post-Soviet period, bringing together criminology, human geography and law. The collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 was a landmark moment in Russia's penal trajectory due to the excessive scale and use of imprisonment as a political and cultural corrective. Our findings reveal the punishment of young women in Russia as exceptional and exclusionary. Personnel play a crucial role in shaping penal strategies that encourage young women to adopt blame and shame sensibilities. We develop a conceptualization of Russian penality as it relates to young women prisoners. We argue that the prisoner transport is the first stage in a continuum where gender, penal order and culture come together come together to create a specific penological place identity, which we conceptualize as Malaya Rodina (Little Homeland). We conclude that Russia's penal geography, and its attendant penological imagination, is a vestige of the Soviet penal monolith.",
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Welcome to Malaya Rodina ('Little Homeland') : gender and penal order in a Russian penal colony. / Piacentini, L.F.; Pallot, Judith; Moran, Dominique.

In: Social and Legal Studies, Vol. 18, No. 4, 12.2009, p. 523-542.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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