The construction of correctional officers: Layers of emotionality behind bars

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

64 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This "layered account," based on qualitative research gathered at a county jail and state women's prison, illustrates the ways in which organizational discourses and micropractices encourage emotional constructions such as withdrawal, paranoia, detachment, and an "us-them" mentality among correctional officers. Using philosophies from Michele Foucault, the analysis extends theoretical notions of emotion labor, illustrates the harnessed yet pervasive nature of sexuality in a total institution, and sheds light on the emotional challenges faced by a troubled, hidden, and stigmatized employee group. The text jumps among theoretical arguments, notes about methodology and writing, and creative nonfiction vignettes and in doing so, attempts to embody the emotional and jarring nature of the correctional environment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)509-533
Number of pages25
JournalQualitative Inquiry
Volume10
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 2004

Fingerprint

total institution
emotionality
mentality
withdrawal
correctional institution
qualitative research
sexuality
emotion
employee
labor
discourse
methodology
Group
philosophy

Keywords

  • Emotion labor
  • Foucault
  • Prison
  • Qualitative research
  • Total institution

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anthropology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

Cite this

The construction of correctional officers : Layers of emotionality behind bars. / Tracy, Sarah.

In: Qualitative Inquiry, Vol. 10, No. 4, 2004, p. 509-533.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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