Elena Bergia

Story of a symbolic success: the struggles of northern Irish republican prisoners against prison stigma. Social, cultural and gender issues

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Northern Ireland, Criminalization and Prisoners’ Protest, Gender

The article explores the response of Northern Irish republican prisoners to the attempt by the British government to criminalize the republican armed struggle during the Northern Ireland conflict. Male and female republican prisoners reacted to the attempt to stigmatize their use of violence as criminal, rather than political, with increasingly extreme protests. Even though male and female prisoners adopted the same forms of protests, the respective success of their endeavours – coinciding with the acquisition of heroic status among the Northern Irish Catholic\nationalist working-class and international sympathizers – varied greatly. The article explains the success of the male protests and explores why the protests carried out by the female prisoners were not equally successful in granting them heroic status

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