Into the Corrida: an analysis and testing of Geese Theatre Company's The violent illusion trilogy prison residency for violent offenders (2 Volumes)

Farrall, Mark Christopher (2008) Into the Corrida: an analysis and testing of Geese Theatre Company's The violent illusion trilogy prison residency for violent offenders (2 Volumes). Doctoral thesis, Birmingham City University.


Download (33MB)

Download (9MB)


In the last decade UK criminal justice policy has attempted to systematise 'evidence based' practice in terms of dealing with offending behaviour, through a variety of 'accredited' programmes in prison and probation. In the literature, a key distinction is between instrumental, goal-directed violence as a 'planned' behaviour and hostile violence motivated by the experience of anger or other strong direct emotion.

The current criminal justice conception of violent offending specifically is confused: the dominant analysis is 'cognitivist', seeing instrumental behaviour as originating in 'faulty thinking'; but existing violence programmes cater primarily for offenders whose violence is reactive and hostile. The overwhelming treatment orientation remains cognitive-behavioural and psychological.

This thesis investigates an intervention that, within a cognitive-behavioural framework, is essentially dramaturgical in nature, utilising methodologies such as scripted performance, mask, and improvisational drama, reflecting several theoretical domains outside of the cognitive perspective and which are currently 'illegitimate' within the dominant paradigm; these domains are reflected in eight critical 'nodes' of theory emergent from the literature review.

The epistemological foundation of this study can be defined as essentially post modem and holistic, and the methodology used reflects this, combining quantitative psychometric measurement of 'what the Residency does, i. e. reduce the likelihood of violent behaviour, with a qualitative approach to analysing 'how' the Residency brings this about. This is pursued through a framework of Participant Observation and 18 questions of Discourse Analysis directed at the 'living' interpersonal phenomena of the Residency, and following several participants who were a) accessible to the researcher and b) appear to represent a range of reactions.

In emphasising a dramaturgical analysis this study departs significantly from the cognitive-psychological paradigm of origins and treatment of violent behaviour, but this allows us to explore and emphasise dynamics of change and the collective level of a group process, as opposed to the more usual 'Euro-American' individualist cognitive approach. The thesis both demonstrates that such dramaturgical interventions are measurably effective within the terms of the dominant model and offers a far more profound, complex and contradictory model of the person and working with violent behaviour than the 'orthodox' vision permits.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
September 2008Completed
Uncontrolled Keywords: Criminal justice, cognitive behaviour, prisons, prisoners, offenders, rehabilitation of criminals
Subjects: CAH15 - social sciences > CAH15-01 - sociology, social policy and anthropology > CAH15-01-03 - social policy
CAH25 - design, and creative and performing arts > CAH25-02 - performing arts > CAH25-02-03 - drama
CAH22 - education and teaching > CAH22-01 - education and teaching > CAH22-01-01 - education
Divisions: Faculty of Health, Education and Life Sciences > School of Education and Social Work
Doctoral Research College > Doctoral Theses Collection
Depositing User: Carrie-Anne Bryan
Date Deposited: 03 Feb 2017 14:14
Last Modified: 12 Jan 2022 17:24

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


In this section...