Moments of Control in a Women's Prison: Refletions From India

Suvarna Cherukuri, Kansas State University

ABSTRACT
My purpose in this paper is to examine the daily life of women prisoners and various moments of control they encounter some of which, are gender-specific intheir nature. The daily lives of women in any prison need to be understood in conjunction with control since control is the most defining moment in any prison. Prisons are part of a larger societdcal network, and prisons in many ways replicate the larger societal ideologies of defining control of women.

When I use the term control I refer to a gender-specific/gendered control that is exercised on women for being women. The term control merely does not refer to an authority from above. It also means creating a certain moment or rather various moments for women prisoners--each of these moments confines them to the conventional and patriarchal wisdom on how women should be.

This paper is based on the field study I conducted in a women's prison in India during May-August 2000.

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Updated 05/20/2006