This book is concerned with the media's role in everyday life, power relations and the construction of masculine identities in the context of prisons. It is based upon unique research into the nature, impact and consequences of a situation where most prisoners in English prisons have access to some media resource, whether radio or television, or with communal or individual access to it. Captive Audience charts for the first time the way in which prisons use media in coping – or failing to cope – with the pressures of prison life, exploring the impact of the media in terms of prisoner identities, shaping power relations between prisoners and other prisoners, and in helping prisoners 'get through' a prison sentence. At the same time this book raises a range of broader issues of theory and practice on the nature of the relationship between prisons, criminal justice systems and society more generally, and on the ways in which the media are conceived in everyday life. It will be of interest to all those concerned with prisons, criminology and the criminal justice system, the social role of the media, and the construction of identity.
Introduction: prisons, media and everyday life 1. Prison, pain and identity: a review of the literature 2. Identity, self and constructions of masculinity 3. Research context and methodology 4. The microsocial contexts of media use 5. The meso-sphere of culture, interaction and hyper-masculinity 6. The macrosocial institutional sphere. Conclusion: the paradoxical power of media in prisons