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Undergraduate Module Descriptor

ANT3096: The Anthropology of Prisons

This module descriptor refers to the 2023/4 academic year.

Module Content

Syllabus Plan

Whilst the module’s precise content may vary from year to year, it is envisaged that the syllabus will cover some or all of the following topics:

Core theory in the anthropology and sociology of prisons: Foucault, Goffman and Sykes

Getting into prison: evaluating ethnographic research as a methodology for the study of imprisonment

Case study: Bomana Prison, Papua New Guinea.

Case study: Unnamed Prison, Kolkata, India.

Case study: the Feminine Penitentiary Centre, Miraflores, La Paz, Bolivia.

Case study: HMP Maze (or Long Kesh), County Down, Northern Ireland.

Case study: the design of carcerality for Aboriginal people in Australia and Canada

Sensory penalties

Prisons and their relatives: detention centres, psychiatric units and zoos.

Learning and Teaching

This table provides an overview of how your hours of study for this module are allocated:

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

...and this table provides a more detailed breakdown of the hours allocated to various study activities:

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activity22Weekly 2-hour lectures/seminars or 1 hour lecture + 1 hour seminar.
Guided independent study32Reading of the set texts for weekly lectures and the tutorials
Guided independent study32Additional reading under the guidance of the lecturer
Guided independent study25Preparation and writing of the essay
Guided independent study25Preparation and writing of the contextualisation and critique exercise
Guided independent study6Background research conducted by the student depending on need and interest
Guided independent study8Recapitulation of reading done throughout the term

Online Resources

This module has online resources available via ELE (the Exeter Learning Environment).

Web-based and electronic resources:

Other Learning Resources

  • ELE – College to provide hyperlink to appropriate pages