• Sisse Gøttler
  • Penille Kvist Sørensen
This dissertation aims to gain an insight into how an otherwise very secretive subculture, namely that of outlaw bikers, voice the challenges and opportunities they face in relation to their relationships while serving a prison sentence in a cellblock consisting purely of outlaw bikers. Earlier research has primarily focused on the crimes committed by these people, rather than examine more normalizing elements, such as relationships and love.
The target group is inmates with connections to the outlaw motorcycle clubs Bandidos and Hells Angels from cellblock D in Enner Mark prison. This dissertation presents and answers the following thesis statement; how do imprisoned outlaw bikers establish and maintain romantic relationships, from a gender-oriented perspective? This will be centered around the ways in which the outlaw bikers employ different types of masculinity and roles depending on their social context, along with how these customs affect their relationships.
The empirical foundation of the dissertation is based on qualitative methodology through field work such as observations, interviews and focus group interviews with inmates, employees and experts. Our primary focus has been on the narratives presented by the inmates, based on their understanding and interpretations of their relationships. We supplement these with statements from employees from Enner Mark prison and experts who are working closely with the target group. We include these different perspectives, because we grant all participants equal value in the study, which will contribute to a holistic perspective on the relationships of the inmates.
The dissertation will firstly present a literature review, identify the problem area and considerations made in choice of methodology. Secondly, the study´s theoretical framework will be presented, where the theories of James W. Messerschmidt and Erving Goffman will contribute to an analytic understanding of the customs and actions of the inmates in connection to their relationships. Thirdly, the analytical section will, among other things, touch upon the inmates’ embodiments of the types of masculinity in the group, power and controlling behaviour, as well as love, sex and intimacy.
Through this analysis we will present some principal trends; a difference can be seen in how the inmates understand and articulate their relationships, and how employees and experts view them. Through our analysis we have concluded that the inmates employ hypermasculine behaviour in their motorcycle gangs, where especially higher-ranking outlaw bikers perform masculinity by exercising dominance over trial members.
This hypermasculine behaviour is also reflected in the way they perform masculinity in their relationships, where it has become clear that most inmates employ control measures in order to maintain their masculine power status in the relationship. A cause of this may be the prisons limitations and political sanctions leading to a limited way of realising their customary gender roles. These subjects are then put into perspective, firstly through a discussion of the distribution of power between the inmates and their romantic partners, as the partners also have a power status in the relationship. Secondly, we discuss the effect prison has on the relationship, including the positive and negative aspects presented by the inmates themselves. Lastly, we critically examine our methodological approach and discuss other possible methods which could have been employed
Publication date1 Jun 2018
Number of pages103
External collaboratorKriminalforsorgen
Afdelingsleder Enner Mark fængsel Dion Christensen Dion.christensen@kriminalforsorgen.dk
ID: 280266285