Spaces under control, between city and prison

1st National PhD conference in Social Sciences

Padua 23rd – 25th June 2016

In our cities, there are streets, squares and neighborhoods that are mostly mentioned in crime news. In the heart of the cities, and more often outside them, there are prisons, juvenile reformatories, centers for identification and deportation of migrants, refugee camps: places more and more overcrowded. Although it is hard, ethnographic research has been able to access them and gather precious data on the gravity of distress and violence specific to them. Studying the construction process of security policies is essential to the sociological understanding of urban segregation, deviance and penalty. Thus, it becomes crucial to explore the field, the interactions and the conflicts settled between those actors that forage the agencies of control and punishment and the final users, in order to deconstruct and understand the dynamics and the political implications of the control and penal facilities. Therefore, we welcome those contributions that, through ethnographic approaches, intend to critically explore the everyday life of urban areas represented as unsafe and the everyday life of detention places that, far from being merely the end of deviant paths, often mark the beginning of other stories of suffering and violence.

Urban security

  • Militarization of public spaces and local governance of fear
  • Dangerous area and Media representation of multi-ethnic neighborhoods
  • What does Roma camps hide? Restricted traffic areas and urban segregation
  • Security and gender: prostitution in the context of security policies


  • In line for the identification: refugees suspended between militarized borders
  • The custody of immigrants: experiencing the administrative detention


  • The effects of long terms imprisonment on convict’s families
  • Foreigners doing time in “globalized” prisons
  • In and out: the effect of prison experience on recidivism stories
  • Masculinity and gender: the role of gender identity in prison daily life
  • Convict criminology: the experience of incarceration in qualitative research
  • Observing the sufferance: being a prison guards today


  • Ethnography and security: doing qualitative research in spaces under control

This list is to regarded as indicative and not exhaustive, therefore we welcome abstract proposals on other themes that can stimulate and enrich the debate.


Abstracts should be up to 300 words (bibliography not included), and be written either in Italian or in English and must be sent by February 20, 2016 via email to: adding the title of the session in the subject of the email: Spaces under control, between city and prison”.

Abstracts must have the following structure:

title, author(s)*, text, keywords.

* author’s contact details and a short biography (up to 100 words).

The result of the evaluation will be notified to authors by 20 March 2016. Please note that to participate to the conference you need to sign up (free) which will be available on the appropriate form on the website from March 20, 2015 until 30 April, 2015. For organizational reasons we invite applicants to register by the deadline[1].

Authors of selected abstracts have to send a paper up to 35,000 characters (including spaces and bibliography) by 31 May 2016 to the same e-mail address.

At the end, contribution may be collected for scientific publications cured by the referee of the session together with the author(s).


Elton Kalica, PhD Student in Social Sciences, FISPPA Department – University of Padova


[1] Coffee breaks and spritz-time are included.

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