Anton Symkovych

Period of Stay: 
October 2018 – July 2019
Social anthropology
University of Johannesburg, South Africa
Project Title: 
Inside the Walls, Across Borders: Power, Legitimacy, and Human Agency in British and South African Prisons
Project Abstract: 

Most prisons engender semi-formal systems that regulate inter-prisoner co-habitation and prisoner-staff relations. These hybrid governance systems encompass formal rules and informal traditions, sensibilities, and behavioural dictates. Such governance arrangements around the globe differ enormously and evolve constantly, responding to changes in and outside prison walls.  I intend to spend my time at the IAS analysing and writing up the data from semi-ethnographic studies I conducted in medium-security men’s prisons in England, Ukraine, and South Africa. Using these cases, I will explore how the momentous societal transformation and the reorganisation of state governance cohere with daily life in prisons. My aim is to develop the theorisation of prison governance, adaptation, and resistance, thus contributing to the conceptualisation of order, power, carceral self-rule, and legitimacy.