The Social Construction of Inequality: The Case of Ilha Grande

Thursday, 14 July 2016: 11:15
Location: Hörsaal 34 (Main Building)
Oral Presentation
Myrian SANTOS, UERJ, Brazil
This article is focused on the social construction of inequality within the penitentiary system. The argument being developed here takes seriously the contributions left by Michel Foucault about the penal and penitentiary systems. The concepts of power and domination are expanded; they cease to be restricted to economic and political issues and are understood out of a system of norms and institutions. The research is based on interviews with former guards who worked at the penitentiary called Instituto Penal Cândido Mendes, from 1951 to 1994, documents related with the prison, biographical testimonies and articles in newspapers and magazines. The author analyzes the different meanings of violent practices as well as the construction of stigmas and prejudices, which allow the classification of individuals as either people of lesser human value or dangerous one and predispose them to be arrested, tortured and killed.