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Islam in Flanders prisons in the aftermath of terrorist attacks

An ethnographic study on Islam, prison policies, experiences and masculinities



Description: After the terrorist attacks in France (2015) and Belgium (2016), radicalisation in Belgian prisons gained tremendous international attention in the public and political debate. However, academic research on the topic is limited. In this ethnographic research we aim to explore how the radicalisation discourse impacts current policies and experiences in prison by focusing on 1) the changing role of religion and Islam in particular in current prison policies (macro-level); 2) how Islam is regulated and experienced by prison actors (prison officers, governors and social service actors) (meso-level); 3) how Islam is experienced by Muslim prisoners (micro-level). Prison and Muslim masculinity frameworks are used in order to understand how masculinity impacts the above mentioned policies, experiences and interactions. This research makes use of traditional ethnographic (participant observation and semi-structured interviews) and novel methodologies such as digital storytelling. Moreover, the multidisciplinary approach will enrich different research strands within anthropology, criminology, political science, and minority studies.

Coordinator : VUB

Promoters: Iman Lechkar & An-Sofie Vanhouche

Researchers: Elias Woodbridge

Funding:Funding: Fonds Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek (FWO