Sociology of Prison Life
Drake, D., Darke, S. and Earle, R., ‘Prison life: Sociologies of’, in Wright, J. (ed.) International Encyclopaedia of Social and Behavioural Sciences, 2nd edn., Oxford: Elsevier, Forthcoming
13 Pages Posted: 16 Jul 2014
Date Written: July 14, 2014
Prison life both fascinates and repels. As with many aspects of punishment it attracts the interest of both academics and the general public. In this short and accessible account the principal issues of prison life are presented in a historical context that traces the emergence of focussed academic study of the way people live, and die, in prison. The most influential theoretical perspectives are clearly set out alongside a discussion of their influence on research and analysis in the UK and beyond. Questions of women’s experience and that of black and minority ethnic prisoners are explored before a consideration of post-colonial prison studies is introduced. These studies of prison life beyond the axis of Europe and north America challenge some of the accumulated academic wisdom of Anglo-phone and European studies of prison life, indicating the potential of novel developments to come in an era which, unfortunately, shows no signs of declining to produce more and more prisons.
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