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Kanoushev, M.S.

Kanoushev, M.S.

Martin Kanoushev, born in Sofia, Bulgaria, in 1966. Ph.D. from the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Sofia. Research Fellow at the Institute of Sociology at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Sofia, and Associate Professor at the Department of Sociology at the University of Sofia.

Visiting Grant Scholar (1 April 2003 – 30 June 2003)

During my three months at NIAS, I worked intensively on the project, ‘Penal power and social identity: late modern versus post socialist societies’. I explored the relationships between former penal systems and the social identities constituted by these systems. Moreover, I looked at how penal mechanisms and the way they function have shaped the identities of their ‘subjects’ firstly, as subordinate subjects, that is under the control or orders of others, and secondly, as subjects defined by their own personality or according to their ascribed social identity.

My main interest is a sociological study of how criminal identity is influenced by the penal system. I applied my hypotheses to concrete empirical material and resolved the following theoretical problems:

What are the various forms of institutionalization and how do they affect people’s actions?

What are the main instruments used in the penal institutions and what are their goals?

How efficient are these instruments used by the penal powers and what are the levels of assurance regarding the desired result?

The three-month period was of great help to my work, in that I could collect and study the most recent scientific literature on certain theoretical and historical issues. Perhaps, more importantly, the intensive exchange of ideas with the Fellows here at NIAS offered me unexpected insights and helped me find a way to conceptualise some of the problems that emerged from my research. In this respect, I established very useful contacts with a number of researchers at NIAS and some colleagues at the Universities of Amsterdam, Groningen and Utrecht.

The scientific results of this research will be used for my new series of lectures on ‘Sociology of Law and Social Deviances’. I also prepared two articles, ‘Penal Power and Social Identity’ and ‘Criminality and Delinquencies’, which will be published at the end of 2003. Finally, I completed a first draft of my habilitation work, entitled: ‘Psychiatric Expertise and Deviant Behaviour: an Archaeology of Judicial-Medical Power’.