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Temas em Psicologia

Print version ISSN 1413-389X


BARCINSKI, Mariana; LERMEN, Helena Salgueiro; CAMPANI, Cristiane  and  ALTENBERND, Bibiana. Prison's warriors: a virtual support network for families of freedom deprived people. Temas psicol. [online]. 2014, vol.22, n.4, pp. 929-940. ISSN 1413-389X.

The present paper aims at investigating the roles played by an informal support network for families of incarcerated people. This network is constituted as a group in one of the largest social networks in the world. We selected the posts found in one week in the referred group; these were then grouped in interpretive categories that define the roles usually performed by social support networks, as described in the literature. The data analysis was conducted with the tools provided by Critical Discourse Analysis, which aims at understanding how discursive productions reflect social relations of power. Gender questions were at the core of the analyses performed, once this virtual network is mainly constituted by women. In this sense, we emphasized the unique process of female participants' subjective constitution, as well as the social expectations associated to them in these virtual exchanges. The mentioned expectations characterized this virtual space as eminently feminine. Results show that the exchanges among participants seek to fulfill these families needs', such as emotional, legal, and material support. The referred virtual group reflects the fragility in the social support network of families with incarcerated members, the creative potential of these families, and the alternative possibilities for overcoming the difficulties found in the prison context.

Keywords : Gender; prison; social support network.

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