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En välbyggd maskin, en mardröm för själen : det svenska fängelsesystemet under 1800-talet

Nilsson, Roddy LU (1999) In Bibliotheca Historica Lundensis 93.
Abstract (Swedish)
Popular Abstract in Swedish

Ordet "fängelse" ger mångfaldiga och motstridiga associationer; till höga murar och gallerförsedda fönster, till inspärrning, straff och farliga brottslingar men också till förtryck, utstötthet och trasiga människor. De svenska fängelserna växte fram under 1800-talet och var en del i en internationell trend. Fängelset framställdes som ett stort humanitärt och straffrättsligt framsteg och som ett universellt botemedel mot den till synes ökande brottsligheten och samhälleliga oron. I takt med att de högt ställda förväntningarna på fångarnas förbättring och brottslighetens minskning inte infriades försköts fängelsernas målsättningar. Fängelset formades under 1800-talets andra del allt mera till en... (More)
Popular Abstract in Swedish

Ordet "fängelse" ger mångfaldiga och motstridiga associationer; till höga murar och gallerförsedda fönster, till inspärrning, straff och farliga brottslingar men också till förtryck, utstötthet och trasiga människor. De svenska fängelserna växte fram under 1800-talet och var en del i en internationell trend. Fängelset framställdes som ett stort humanitärt och straffrättsligt framsteg och som ett universellt botemedel mot den till synes ökande brottsligheten och samhälleliga oron. I takt med att de högt ställda förväntningarna på fångarnas förbättring och brottslighetens minskning inte infriades försköts fängelsernas målsättningar. Fängelset formades under 1800-talets andra del allt mera till en värld av kontroll och disciplin där inre ordning och säkerhet blev både det främsta tecknet på framgång och det viktigaste skälet till dess fortlevnad. Vid sekelskiftet 1900 tillbringade 90% av fångarna hela sin strafftid i ensamcell under strikt kontroll och isolering. I detta system skapades också "fången" både som en abstrakt kategori och som ett underordnat subjekt. Allt sedan mitten av 1800-talet har fängelset intagit den centrala platsen i de flesta länders straffsystem. Dess oöverträffade styrka i jämförelse med andra strafformer har varit möjligheten att förorda detta utifrån olika intressen och utgångspunkter. Beroende på vem som gjorde bedömningen kunde fängelsets vedergällande, avskräckande, inkapaciterande eller rehabiliterande funktion framhållas. (Less)
Abstract
The general aim of the thesis is to study 19th century Swedish prisons from the point of view of the surrounding discourse and also as a social system. The prison phenomenon grew out of the meeting between prisons as a discourse-produced norm system and the social practice consisting of the reality as experienced by the prisoners and the prison staff. The growth and development of the Swedish prison system was to a certain point part of an international trend. However, it should be emphasized, this development took different roads and produced different outcomes in the different countries depending on socio-economic, political and cultural contexts. During the second half of the 19th century Sweden built a uniform and regionaly based... (More)
The general aim of the thesis is to study 19th century Swedish prisons from the point of view of the surrounding discourse and also as a social system. The prison phenomenon grew out of the meeting between prisons as a discourse-produced norm system and the social practice consisting of the reality as experienced by the prisoners and the prison staff. The growth and development of the Swedish prison system was to a certain point part of an international trend. However, it should be emphasized, this development took different roads and produced different outcomes in the different countries depending on socio-economic, political and cultural contexts. During the second half of the 19th century Sweden built a uniform and regionaly based penitentiary system. This large build up was accompanied by a number of legal changes which gave as a result that by 1900 over 90 per cent of all Swedish prisoners spent their whole prison term in solitary confinement. Together with the introduction and gradual expansion of new disciplinary techniques and modes of control this led to an ordered and regularized milieu with high security against escapes and outbursts of violence. This process also applied to the prison staff, especially the guards. By the turn of century the guards appered as an increasingly well-disciplined and loyal corps where clear features of a specific prison guard culture can be discerned. The emergence of the prison also entailed the creation of "the prisoner", both as an abstract category and as a subordinated subject as well as a new problematization of the relations between criminality, punishment and society. In this last process a special role was given to the prison chaplains' and other prison administrators' observations, accounts, reports and judgements. Ever since the middle of the 19th century, prisons have formed the centre in the punishment systems of most countries. Its unsurpassed strength in comparison with other penalty institutions should be viewed in relation to the fact that it has been possible to claim its superiority from a number of different interests and starting-points. Depending on the preferences of those who make the judgement, prisons may be regarded and may function as retaliation, deterrence, incapacitation or rehabilitation. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
opponent
  • Docent Svensson, Birgitta, Department of Ethnology, University of Lund
organization
alternative title
A well-built machine, a nightmare for the soul : The Swedish prison system during the 19th century
publishing date
type
Thesis
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Swedish prisons, prison guard, prison chaplain, punishment, prison, penitentiary, normalization, Discipline, discourse, Contemporary history (circa 1800 to 1914), Modern historia (ca. 1800-1914)
in
Bibliotheca Historica Lundensis
volume
93
pages
495 pages
publisher
Lund University Press
defense location
Department of History, LUND
defense date
1999-10-22 10:15
external identifiers
  • other:ISRN: LUHSDA/HFHI-1999/1092-SE+495
ISSN
0519-9700
ISBN
91-7966-583-7
language
Swedish
LU publication?
yes
id
7e456aaa-12b4-40ea-9f4d-1a452e7b94fc (old id 19000)
date added to LUP
2007-05-25 08:10:26
date last changed
2016-09-19 08:44:56
@phdthesis{7e456aaa-12b4-40ea-9f4d-1a452e7b94fc,
  abstract     = {The general aim of the thesis is to study 19th century Swedish prisons from the point of view of the surrounding discourse and also as a social system. The prison phenomenon grew out of the meeting between prisons as a discourse-produced norm system and the social practice consisting of the reality as experienced by the prisoners and the prison staff. The growth and development of the Swedish prison system was to a certain point part of an international trend. However, it should be emphasized, this development took different roads and produced different outcomes in the different countries depending on socio-economic, political and cultural contexts. During the second half of the 19th century Sweden built a uniform and regionaly based penitentiary system. This large build up was accompanied by a number of legal changes which gave as a result that by 1900 over 90 per cent of all Swedish prisoners spent their whole prison term in solitary confinement. Together with the introduction and gradual expansion of new disciplinary techniques and modes of control this led to an ordered and regularized milieu with high security against escapes and outbursts of violence. This process also applied to the prison staff, especially the guards. By the turn of century the guards appered as an increasingly well-disciplined and loyal corps where clear features of a specific prison guard culture can be discerned. The emergence of the prison also entailed the creation of "the prisoner", both as an abstract category and as a subordinated subject as well as a new problematization of the relations between criminality, punishment and society. In this last process a special role was given to the prison chaplains' and other prison administrators' observations, accounts, reports and judgements. Ever since the middle of the 19th century, prisons have formed the centre in the punishment systems of most countries. Its unsurpassed strength in comparison with other penalty institutions should be viewed in relation to the fact that it has been possible to claim its superiority from a number of different interests and starting-points. Depending on the preferences of those who make the judgement, prisons may be regarded and may function as retaliation, deterrence, incapacitation or rehabilitation.},
  author       = {Nilsson, Roddy},
  isbn         = {91-7966-583-7},
  issn         = {0519-9700},
  keyword      = {Swedish prisons,prison guard,prison chaplain,punishment,prison,penitentiary,normalization,Discipline,discourse,Contemporary history (circa 1800 to 1914),Modern historia (ca. 1800-1914)},
  language     = {swe},
  pages        = {495},
  publisher    = {Lund University Press},
  school       = {Lund University},
  series       = {Bibliotheca Historica Lundensis},
  title        = {En välbyggd maskin, en mardröm för själen : det svenska fängelsesystemet under 1800-talet},
  volume       = {93},
  year         = {1999},
}