Tate, SA and Wahidin, A (2013) Extraneare: Pain, Loneliness and the Incarcerated Female Body. Journal of Illness, Crisis and Loss, 21 (3). 203 - 217 (14). ISSN 1054-1373
The aim of this article is to understand the affect of estrangement expressed as pain and loneliness within spaces of incarceration. The article will tease out the dissonances and the tensions of both the loneliness of pain and pain as loneliness expressed in the narratives of older women lifers in prison and former political prisoners. Specifically, pain will be looked at as heartache, not feeling physical pain, and one's own pain and shame at being strip-searched being amplified through sensing the pain of another or the silencing of the pain event. We demonstrate through the voices of the women that theirs are real bodies, fleshy, sensate, that experience a cycle of pain as both affective and physical which results in punishment. This cycle results in pain's performative production of the punished through its peculiar individualizations of the body. This also means that pain is amplified through fear of its own possibility of visitation on and in the individual body from which communal attachments are erased so that succour cannot be sought but the pain of the other increases pain as fear. It is this cycle of psychic and physical pain which leads to estrangement experienced paradoxically both as part of the punishment regime of incarceration and as a coping strategy, the only possible location for agency. Agency here emerges as women make the prison environment and categories "stripped searched" or "lifer" stranger to the self, "the real me" or the wounded body stranger, removed from the self which does not feel during the pain event and in its afterlife. These women's bodies are not simply given but also interpreted, mediated, and constituted in social and cultural meanings of incarceration, punishment, and freedom. This allows us to show how thinking through pain as both repressive and productive of identities means that the space of bodily estrangement can be a location of agency as the body does not cease to be both a generator and receptor of meanings in total institutions.
|Institution:||The University of Leeds|
|Academic Units:||The University of Leeds > Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law (Leeds) > School of Sociology and Social Policy (Leeds)|
|Depositing User:||Symplectic Publications|
|Date Deposited:||22 Sep 2014 12:07|
|Last Modified:||22 Sep 2014 12:15|