Getting going: first-day prison ethnography in Iceland

Research output: Other contribution


Let me start off with a little pro-tip: If you’re ever visiting an open prison in Iceland, try to arrive at lunchtime. Lunch is a big fixture in the daily routine. Staff and prisoners eat a hot meal together in a communal space, so that by arriving in time for this event, you do get to meet almost everyone, prisoners and staff, immediately. Apart from nourishment lunchtime also provides important social cues. It is interesting to observe who sits with who, to get a sense of social relations. Mind you, lunchtimes do not tend to last very long with many prisoners finishing their dinners in little time. In particular those who rather not spend time with others disappear quite quickly. Another may turn up somewhat late, also to avoid as much of the gathering as possible. In this way, lunchtimes provide important clues as to social structure and social status.
Original languageEnglish
TypeBlog article
PublisherNordic Research Council for Criminology
Number of pages2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2021


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