Inside the Prison Parenting Classroom: Caring, Sharing and the Softer Side of Masculinity

  • Katie Buston
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Prisons and Penology book series (PSIPP)


This chapter draws on ethnographic work with young fathers attending a prison parenting programme in a Scottish Young Offender Institution. The programme facilitators encouraged sharing and caring, creating a space in the classroom where the men could feel comfortable showing their softer side. By talking about their present and past lives in relation to parenthood, and reflecting together, it is theorised that the men will (further) realise how important their fatherhood role is, and be motivated to change their parenting practices in positive ways. The chapter explores how hyper-masculine discourses and performances contrasted, and meshed, with much softer discourses and performances of masculinity. The wider implications for prison-based group interventions which theorise behavioural change around sharing of experiences, and developing caring relationships with peers and facilitators are discussed.


Ethnography Young men Young Offender Institution Parenting Fathers Interventions Behavioural change Classroom climate 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Katie Buston
    • 1
  1. 1.MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences UnitUniversity of GlasgowGlasgowUK

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