Missing and Missing Out: Social Exclusion in Children with an Incarcerated Parent

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Dennison, Susan
Besemer, Kirsten
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Rachel Condry, Peter Scharff Smith

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2018
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This chapter explores the concept of social exclusion and the ways that it can be used to frame discussions about the consequences of parental imprisonment for children. It reviews emerging findings that show that parental imprisonment may have fundamental impacts on intergenerational social exclusion. Next, the chapter draws on narratives of children with imprisoned fathers and their caregivers to illustrate how paternal imprisonment interrupts customary practices — living patterns and roles that a father might be expected to fulfil in contemporary family life. This chapter thus extends the discussion beyond the typical focus on economic and health indicators of social exclusion to consider children’s exclusion from daily social activities, proposing that these are essential for children’s identity formation and sense of inclusion and belonging. It argues that such direct experiences of social exclusion are fundamentally harmful to children’s long-term wellbeing and may mediate the lifelong disadvantage known to affect prisoners’ children.

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Prisons, Punishment, and the Family: Towards a New Sociology of Punishment?

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Criminology not elsewhere classified

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