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Narratives of Memory, Identity and Place in Male Prisoners

Medlicott, Diana (2004) Narratives of Memory, Identity and Place in Male Prisoners. In: Narrative, Memory & Identity: Theoretical and Methodological Issues. University of Huddersfield, Huddersfield, pp. 105-117.

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      This paper looks at some aspects of memory and identity in relation to male
      prisoners and their sense of place. Prison is, for those entering it, an exemplary
      life event, in terms of the jolt it gives to memory and self-image. In prison,
      there is all the time in the world to sit and think, and remember. Memory is a
      source of joy and of torment.
      I begin by offering a brief illustration of this. James (L6), a prisoner in his
      late thirties, told me about the house he lived in for the first nine years of his
      life. He could remember every detail of every room, even down to the roses
      around the small garden shed in the garden, and he talked me through each
      detail. He dreamed of going back to this house in south-west London, and one
      day buying it out of his burglary earnings. Then he became embarrassed and
      berated himself for sounding ‘daft’. He had never voiced this desire before.
      What he was disclosing was an aspect of his identity - a profound
      attachment to place, and to the person he used to be in that place. It lodged in
      his memory and became woven into his personal identity and his sense of
      When he was nine, his parents split up, and the house was sold. That was
      the end of his life in that place, but not the end of that place in his life.

      Item Type: Book Chapter
      Additional Information: Copyright for chapters remain with individual authors at all times and permission should be sought from the author for any reproduction other than for personal use.
      Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
      H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
      Schools: School of Human and Health Sciences > Narrative and Memory Research Group > Narrative and Memory Research Group Annual Conference
      School of Human and Health Sciences
      Related URLs:
      Depositing User: Cherry Edmunds
      Date Deposited: 02 Jul 2009 16:52
      Last Modified: 30 Jul 2010 14:13


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