Doing yoga behind bars: A sociological study of the growth of holistic spirituality in penitentiary institutions

Mar Griera, Anna Clot-Garrell

Research output: Chapter in BookChapterResearchpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015. Drawing on a qualitative research conducted in Catalan prisons, this chapter explores what role holistic spiritualities such as yoga, Reiki and meditation activities play in contemporary Spanish prisons. These practices located at the limit of the secular are increasingly present in prisons. In this regard, the chapter particularly examines the success of such holistic activities‘understanding success’ to mean the non-problematisation, acceptance and rapid diffusion of such ideas and practices‘in the penitentiary context. We argue that holistic activities and therapies become symbolic resources through which inmates can make sense of their uncertain situation in prison and (re)construct their self-image while also working as a ’peace-making mechanism’ that fits in with the institutional order. Prison staff‘specifically social workers‘plays a crucial role as carriers, in the Weberian sense of the term, of the ideas and values that underlie holistic activities.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationReligious Diversity in European Prisons: Challenges and Implications for Rehabilitation
Pages141-157
Number of pages16
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015

Keywords

  • Catalan prisons
  • Ethnography
  • Holistic spirituality
  • New religious diversity
  • Prison staff
  • Self-image
  • Weber

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Doing yoga behind bars: A sociological study of the growth of holistic spirituality in penitentiary institutions'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this