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Maternity imprisoned under a compared perspective: experience of living and separation in a women's prison in Portugal

Grant number: 18/10750-0
Support Opportunities:Scholarships abroad - Research
Effective date (Start): May 01, 2019
Effective date (End): October 31, 2019
Field of knowledge:Applied Social Sciences - Law - Public Law
Principal Investigator:Ana Gabriela Mendes Braga
Grantee:Ana Gabriela Mendes Braga
Host Investigator: Manuela Ivone Paredes Pereira da Cunha
Host Institution: Faculdade de Ciências Humanas e Sociais (FCHS). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Franca. Franca , SP, Brazil
Research place: Universidade do Minho (UMinho), Portugal  


This research aims to understand the experiences and possibilities of maternity in a women's prison in Portugal. The general perspective of the research develops itself in two specific objectives: to understand how another temporality and space reconfigure the categories of "hypo-maternity" and "hyper-maternity", primarily elaborated in Brazilian field; ii) to think how the different categories gender, class, race and foreign condition can impact motherhood in prison. By using an ethnographic methodology that combines techniques participant observation, interviews and focus groups, I intend to produce qualitative data from a situated experience of maternity and imprisonment, that should help us think about more general aspects of the mothers' imprisonment production. This project deepens and gives continuity to the reflections initiated in the research "Giving birth in the dark", whose fruits and debates are still effecting the present days. This project, yet, proposes to develop a comparative approach - which contributes to the planning for public policies in Brazil - justified by at least four factors: the contrast between the two countries regarding the time of permanence of the mother with her child helping to think about the prison experience and the motherhood interruption; the dimension of the female prison population in Portugal, which contributes to the constitution of a representative sample; a considerable part of the Portuguese female prisoners is foreigner, which may help to think about the gender relation and its intersection with class, race and immigration; the expertise of the supervisor of this research Professor Manuela Ivone da Cunha and the University of Minho, with a tradition in ethnographic research in prison, especially in the imprisonment of women.

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