Disenfranchised grief in the disenfranchised : a sociological intersectional model of the loss, trauma and bereavement experiences of young men in prison

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


This is a submission for the degree of PhD by Publication. The thesis draws upon five previously published papers (three journal articles and two book chapters) about the loss, bereavement and trauma experiences of young men in prison. The thesis identifies and summarises the themes that connect and cohere the papers: the multiple and persistent experiences of loss and disenfranchisement, driven by gender norms, shame, stigma and marginalised identities. While the thesis confirms both the presence and relevance of disenfranchised grief for young men in prison, it also recognises that the concept may not sufficiently capture the intensity of the young men’s multi-layered experiences, which carry added meaning for young men who are undertaking the key developmental transition to adulthood in the restricted environment of a prison. Disenfranchised grief has historically been studied from a single-issue perspective, rather than exploring the complex interactions and impacts of multiple disenfranchising scenarios. Thus it became apparent that a more contextual and dynamic understanding of disenfranchised grief was needed to better account for the lived experience of these young men in prison. Drawing from both Intersectional Theory and the Socioecological Model this thesis presents a unique socioecological intersectional model of disenfranchised grief in prison in order to depict the multiple and systemic drivers of disenfranchised grief, and to incorporate who is being disenfranchised, where this is happening, how, why and by whom. The drivers of disenfranchised grief were located across multiple systems, such as the self, family, institutions and public policy, and included the loss, harm and marginalisation cased directly by the justice system itself. In this way the thesis confirms and extends the concept of disenfranchised grief, as well as provides insights into the challenges and locations for responding to disenfranchised grief for young men in prison.
Date of Award21 Nov 2022
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University Of Strathclyde
SupervisorLaura Steckley (Supervisor) & Cara Jardine (Supervisor)

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