How to be(come) the perfect inmate? Working the system in the prison workhouse at Christianshavn, 1769–1789

Emilie Luther Valentin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Between 1769 and 1789, the warden of the prison workhouse at Christianshavn wrote around 300 statements to accompany petitions made for inmates’ release. Drawing on the theories of Arlie Russell Hochschild, this article argues that the statements detail the feeling rules of the prison workhouse and provide evidence that the inmates ‘worked the system’ by performing emotional labour in accordance with said feeling rules. Thus, the article uncovers and connects practices and tactics of coercion and autonomy in the prison workhouse, examining how inmates navigated the authorities’ expectations as a tactic of escape from imprisonment and labour coercion.
Original languageEnglish
JournalScandinavian Journal of History
Volume48
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)679-698
ISSN0346-8755
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Keywords

  • prison workhouse
  • feeling rules
  • emotional labour
  • petitioning
  • labour
  • coercion
  • Prison workhouse

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