Power and Resistance in Prison

Doing Time, Doing Freedom

How can adult men retain their masculinity and sense of self when they, as prisoners, are given less freedom than a child?

This book shows how prisoners, through relentless creative entrepreneurship, are able to bend rules and 'fool the system', and thus reclaim their sense of both freedom and manhood.


Based on extensive ethnographic field work in Norway's largest prison, Ugelvik provides a compelling analysis of the relationship between forms of power, practices of resistance and prisoner subjectivity in everyday life in prison.

The book reveals how prisoners turn themselves into active opponents of the prison regime, not passive objects of state power, through various methods including spatial transformations, food related resistance and self-repositioning. It also shows how resistance practices have profound effects on prisoners' ongoing renegotiation of subjectivity within the confines of the penal institution.


“'Power and Resistance in Prison is a powerful, engaging and theoretically important book exploring in depth what happens when power and freedom meet in a culturally diverse Norwegian prison. It is challenging, honest, and replete with human stories.' - Professor Alison Liebling, Institute of Criminology, Cambridge, UK.


For more information about the book, please see Palgrave Macmillans web pages.

Published Nov. 4, 2014 10:08 AM - Last modified Nov. 4, 2014 10:10 AM