Older people and carceral institutions in the UK: a Foucauldian excursion

Azrini Wahidin (Lecturer in Criminology in the School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research at the University of Kent)
Jason Powell (Senior Lecturer in Sociology in the Department of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work Studies at Liverpool University)

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy

ISSN: 0144-333X

Publication date: 1 December 2004


Drawing from Foucault’s methodological terms of archaeology and genealogy this article critically engages with understanding the inter‐relationship between old age and prison life.We draw out the relevance of a Foucauldian paradigm for investigating how penal discourses and actual prisoners experiences exemplify issues of power, knowledge and surveillance in institutional settings. We draw out how violence impinges on the lives of older people in prisons by pointing out the implications of such experiences for both a critical ontology and epistemology of ageing. It is by transgressing the boundaries of the conventional understanding of the prison and by casting a critical gaze that will gain greater understanding of how elder abuse in secure settings goes unregulated.



Wahidin, A. and Powell, J. (2004), "Older people and carceral institutions in the UK: a Foucauldian excursion", International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, Vol. 24 No. 12, pp. 44-65. https://doi.org/10.1108/01443330410790812

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