Learning Beyond and During the Probation Service: an Ethnographic Study with Women Offenders in England

Evren, Burcu (2021) Learning Beyond and During the Probation Service: an Ethnographic Study with Women Offenders in England. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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This study set out to explore women offenders’ perspectives on learning and change when on probation in England. Through ethnographic research in a Community and Rehabilitation Company in England, I investigate women offenders’ learning experiences - past and present - and how these experiences shaped their lives. The data was collected over seven months through participant observation, semi-structured interviews, focus group discussion and informal conversations with women offenders and staff in the probationary company.

Employing conceptual tools around informal learning, communities of practice, identity theories and gender violence, I explore how women offenders’ identities were shaped by their previous learning experiences and relationships and find out the significance of gender violence on women offenders’ perceptions of their lives and on their learning.

By investigating women offenders’ informal learning experiences in a diversity of spaces, the study offers insights into the women offenders’ broader learning, including learning experiences emerging on probation and their earlier learning on how to commit a crime. The findings reveal the significant impact of relationships formed during the probation period on women offenders’ lives and their multiple and shifting identities. The study uncovers the differences between the reality of relationships on probation and those intended by policy, and explores the offenders’ learning experiences of provided programmes, in this case the women’s group sessions.

The thesis concludes with the importance of acknowledging the new communities created through the probation process, whilst also considering the impact of past and present communities on women offenders’ learning. Such understanding is necessary for providers to respond directly to the women offenders’ voices, their perspectives and needs.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Education and Lifelong Learning
Depositing User: Chris White
Date Deposited: 13 Jun 2022 08:00
Last Modified: 13 Jun 2022 08:00
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/85540

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