Skip to main content

Boredom: A Key Experience of Youth Imprisonment

  • Chapter
  • First Online:
The Palgrave International Handbook of Youth Imprisonment

Part of the book series: Palgrave Studies in Prisons and Penology ((PSIPP))

Abstract

The purpose of this chapter is to analyse the role of boredom and boredom-aversion in the everyday life of youth imprisonment. Data are drawn from an ethnographic study in Danish secure care facilities and include both participant observation and interviews with the confined youth. Drawing on theories of boredom and the creation of action through risk-taking edgework, the analyses demonstrate how boredom is a key experience in everyday life under confinement. Waiting time is a defining aspect of the boredom that young people experience, and the youth spent much time “doing nothing,” finding it difficult to relate to the institutional routines. Analyses show that the young people, both on the inside and on the outside, deal with experiences of boredom through the generation of action. These pockets of action and excitement, although helping the youth to break with boredom and to keep up their spirits under imprisonment, did not change their dominant experience of lacking control over both their daily life and their future. The chapter thus demonstrates that while boredom was a key experience of their imprisonment, it was also a well-known experience from their everyday life on the outside.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this chapter

Subscribe and save

Springer+ Basic
EUR 32.99 /Month
  • Get 10 units per month
  • Download Article/Chapter or Ebook
  • 1 Unit = 1 Article or 1 Chapter
  • Cancel anytime
Subscribe now

Buy Now

Chapter
USD 29.95
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Available as PDF
  • Read on any device
  • Instant download
  • Own it forever
eBook
USD 229.00
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Available as EPUB and PDF
  • Read on any device
  • Instant download
  • Own it forever
Softcover Book
USD 299.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Compact, lightweight edition
  • Dispatched in 3 to 5 business days
  • Free shipping worldwide - see info
Hardcover Book
USD 299.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Durable hardcover edition
  • Dispatched in 3 to 5 business days
  • Free shipping worldwide - see info

Tax calculation will be finalised at checkout

Purchases are for personal use only

Institutional subscriptions

Similar content being viewed by others

Notes

  1. 1.

    The total population aged 15–18 was approximately 345,000. A total of 535 were placed in secure care facilities in 2018 and those not placed under remand were placed for observation or protection.

  2. 2.

    The facilities are regulated by the child protection act and further regulated by a special legislation for the confinement of minors.

References

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Tea Torbenfeldt Bengtsson .

Editor information

Editors and Affiliations

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

Copyright information

© 2021 The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG

About this chapter

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this chapter

Bengtsson, T.T. (2021). Boredom: A Key Experience of Youth Imprisonment. In: Cox, A., Abrams, L.S. (eds) The Palgrave International Handbook of Youth Imprisonment. Palgrave Studies in Prisons and Penology. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-68759-5_10

Download citation

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-68759-5_10

  • Published:

  • Publisher Name: Palgrave Macmillan, Cham

  • Print ISBN: 978-3-030-68758-8

  • Online ISBN: 978-3-030-68759-5

  • eBook Packages: Law and CriminologyLaw and Criminology (R0)

Publish with us

Policies and ethics