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Running It Hard: Managing Social Relationships amongst Women Incarcerated in Hawai'i

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Title:Running It Hard: Managing Social Relationships amongst Women Incarcerated in Hawai'i
Authors:Adler, Corey
Date Issued:Dec 2016
Publisher:[Honolulu] : [University of Hawaii at Manoa], [December 2016]
Abstract:Using semi-structured interview methods and grounded theory analysis, this study of sixteen women in a prison work furlough program in Hawai‘i produced a descriptive model of women’s sites of social interaction. The major sites of social interaction, labeled relational domains, included families, intimate relationships, drug networks and the criminal justice system. In each domain, the women found sometimes opposing but reciprocal functions including affirmation and suffering, empowerment and abasement, and opportunities to engage in conventional and criminalized behaviors. Women utilized a wide range of gendered strategies to manage both the positive and negative aspects their relationships in each domain. The women in this study were able to sustain and manage their multiple, intersecting and independent relationships despite the complex roles they play in those domains. As the demands and conflicts within each relational domain increased, every informant described feeling overwhelmed at some point. A loss of equilibrium made the women vulnerable to triggers that pushed them past the tipping point into an intense period of drug use several termed, “running it hard.” I argue that running it hard was a strategy used by the study informants to escape the overwhelming and conflicting demands placed upon them in their relational domains. This study also notes that Native Hawaiian women’s relational domains intersected in different and significant ways. Implications from the study include a reconsideration of women’s addiction and the role it plays in incarceration.
Description:Ph.D. University of Hawaii at Manoa 2016.
Includes bibliographical references.
Appears in Collections: Ph.D. - Sociology

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