BRAMWELL, R., 2017. Freedom within bars: maximum security prisoners' negotiations of identity through rap. Identities: Global Studies in Culture and Power, doi:10.1080/1070289X.2017.1287487.
This paper examines the construction of prisoners’ identity through rap in England’s high
security prisons. While hip hop studies has often addressed rap’s connection to the social
practices of criminalised youths, prison rap cultures have received scant attention. This
paper draws on a series of rap workshops and interviews with prisoners to investigate the
experiences of black prisoners in high security prisons and how identities are produced and
negotiated through rap. Rap is associated with the production of a range of identities and
identifications, enabling prisoners to accommodate themselves to the conditions of their
incarceration and to challenge aspects of the criminal justice system that they experience as
unfair or illegitimate.
This paper is closed access until 15th August 2018.
This work was supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Council [AH/M011275/3]; Economic and Social Research Council [ES/L003120/1].