Performativ resocialisering

Tone Anker Nielsen & Maria Pilgaard

Studenteropgave: Speciale


Abstract ‘Performative resocialisering’ is a thesis about performative rehabilitation of prisoners. The thesis is based on social constructivism and within an explorative methodological approach, which is reflected in our crosscontextual work in Denmark and USA. We are outlining the development of punishment in a historical perspective in accordance with Michel Foucaults interpretation of Nitzsches term genealogy. Genealogy is about how historical perspectives on “power and knowledge relations” has an impact on the present. The first part is a critical discourse analysis of the discourses that constitutes punishment and rehabilitation in Denmark. The analysis is based on documents from the Danish Prison and Probation Service, disclosing two dominant discourses; the punishment discourse and the rehabilitation discourse. The analysis shows that discipline is still of great importance in the Danish prison system. However we also se an increasing interest in initiatives regarding innovative rehabilitation efforts. The second analysis is based on our empirical studies of the organisation Rehabilitation Through the Arts (RTA) located in New York State. The organisation works with theatre, dance, creative writing and visual art in five prisons in New York State. We are focusing on the theatre processes and through interviews with key figures from RTA we are analysing the mechanisms within performativity. Using Richard Schechner and Victor Turner we are arguing that performance has a transformative potential in terms of rehabilitation. Creating meaningful activity by integrating the body and the mind RTA is working therapeutically with the prisoners and enhances dialogical moments. The performative rational as a ritual process, has a value in rehabilitating prisoners and brings forth social change for individuals and in societies.

UddannelserKommunikation, (Bachelor/kandidatuddannelse) Kandidat
Udgivelsesdato2 sep. 2013
VejledereYngve Søndergaard


  • Resocialisering
  • Ritualteori
  • Dialog
  • Performance