1. bookVolume 69 (2021): Issue 2 (June 2021)
Journal Details
License
Format
Journal
First Published
30 Mar 2019
Publication timeframe
4 times per year
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English
access type Open Access

Narratives of Czechoslovak Prison Staff from the Communist Era

Published Online: 30 Jun 2021
Page range: 219 - 235
Journal Details
License
Format
Journal
First Published
30 Mar 2019
Publication timeframe
4 times per year
Languages
English
Abstract

The Czechoslovak prison system is closely bound up with the political situation, and period before the year 1989 was no exception. Its transformation reflects changes in society and politics. The role of the prison system, attitudes to prisoners, as well as modernising trends are all a reflection of the dominant master narratives of that time. This study examines how university-educated employees who were in expert positions within the prison system (psychologists, doctors, a librarian, educators, top management) between 1965 and 1992 adapted to the prison system in place or tried to transform it at the time, and how they reflect on their engagement with it at present. By exploring these questions, we are ultimately asking how their experience as prison staff in communist prisons influenced their professional (narrative) identity and course of life, and how dominant social and political narratives under the communist rule impacted their individual lives.

The study adopts a qualitative, idiographic and social constructivist narrative engagement approach to capture the interplay between the prison system and individuals within it. It finds that former employees constructed three different identity configurations reflecting their engagement with the prison system. The consequences of these configurations for prison employees, prison system and society in general are discussed.

Keywords

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The author’s archive (hereinafter AA), interview with Mr Beneš (pseudonym, psychologist) was conducted by Michal Louč and Kristýna Bušková, 2018. Search in Google Scholar

AA, interview with Mr Horák (pseudonym, psychologist) was conducted by Michal Louč and Kristýna Bušková, 2018. Search in Google Scholar

AA, interview with Mr Čermák (pseudonym, pedagogist) was conducted by Michal Louč, Klára Pinerová and Kristýna Bušková, 2018. Search in Google Scholar

AA, interview with Mr Dvořák (pseudonym, psychologist) was conducted by Michal Louč, Klára Pinerová and Kristýna Bušková, 2018. Search in Google Scholar

AA, interview with Mr Kučera (pseudonym, psychologist) was conducted by Michal Louč and Klára Pinerová, 2018. Search in Google Scholar

AA, interview with Mrs Kopecká (pseudonym, employee of VÚP) was conducted by Michal Louč, Klára Pinerová and Kristýna Bušková, 2017. Search in Google Scholar

AA, interview with Mrs Marková (pseudonym, psychologist) was conducted by Michal Louč, Klára Pinerová and Kristýna Bušková, 2017. Search in Google Scholar

AA, interview with Mrs Němcová (pseudonym, psychologist) was conducted by Michal Louč, 2019. Search in Google Scholar

AA, interview with Mr Novotný (pseudonym, doctor) was conducted by Michal Louč, Klára Pinerová and Kristýna Bušková, 2017. Search in Google Scholar

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