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Elinor Lieber

Elinor Lieber

Ph.D Student


Elinor started her PhD in October 2018, and is being supervised by Professor Alison Liebling. Her study will explore narratives of care and friendship within the prison setting. Sociology of prison life literature has tended to emphasise the most desolate features of prison life, such as aggression, exploitation, and stark displays of machismo and individualism. Elinor’s research, which builds on her MPhil thesis on the same topic, aims to uncover the mundane dynamics of care-giving, kindness, intimacy and friendship that sites beneath the official world of prison, and are so often absent in accounts of imprisonment. The research will employ a mixed methods approach, involving mainly interviews and Social Network Analysis.  

Previously, Elinor completed her MPhil in Criminological Research (distinction) at the Institute, and her undergraduate degree in Criminology and Anthropology (distinction) at Bar-Ilan University in Israel. In 2017-18, Elinor worked as a Research Assistant on an NHS and HMPPS funded evaluation of Shared Reading in PIPEs, alongside Professor Alison Liebling, Dr Katherine Auty and Judith Gardom. 

Key Publications

Liebling A, Laws B, Lieber E, Auty K, Schmidt B, Crewe B, Gardom J, Kant D, & Morey M. (forthcoming). Are hope and possibility achievable in prison? Howard Journal of Crime and Justice

Laws, B., & Lieber, E. (In progress). King, Warrior, Magician, Lover: Understanding forms of care among male prisoners.

Williams, R., Liebling, A., & Lieber, E. (In progress). More ‘Mind Games’: How have ‘the action’ and ‘the odds’ changed in prison?

Awards and Funding:

2018–21    Full PhD studentship, Gates Cambridge Scholarship

2017          Proxime accessit for the Manuel López-Rey Graduate Prize

2017          The Boak Student Support Fund, Clare Hall College, Cambridge