Cages and Crises: A Marxist Analysis of Mass Incarceration

Cages and Crises: A Marxist Analysis of Mass Incarceration AbstractSince the mid-1960s, the carceral population in the US has increased around 900%. This article analyses that increase from a Marxist framework. After interrogating the theories of Michelle Alexander and Loïc Wacquant, I lay out a theoretical framework for a Marxist theory of mass incarceration. I then offer a historical analysis of mass incarceration in keeping with this theoretical framework, emphasising the carceral system’s relationship to the class struggle and the large-scale economic dislocations of post-Fordism. Finally, I emphasise how private prison companies, increasingly central to the story of mass incarceration, are influencing current efforts to reform the prison system and shift to ‘alternatives to incarceration’. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Historical Materialism Brill

Cages and Crises: A Marxist Analysis of Mass Incarceration

Historical Materialism, Volume 27 (1): 42 – Mar 29, 2019

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
Copyright © Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
1465-4466
eISSN
1569-206X
DOI
10.1163/1569206X-00001726
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

AbstractSince the mid-1960s, the carceral population in the US has increased around 900%. This article analyses that increase from a Marxist framework. After interrogating the theories of Michelle Alexander and Loïc Wacquant, I lay out a theoretical framework for a Marxist theory of mass incarceration. I then offer a historical analysis of mass incarceration in keeping with this theoretical framework, emphasising the carceral system’s relationship to the class struggle and the large-scale economic dislocations of post-Fordism. Finally, I emphasise how private prison companies, increasingly central to the story of mass incarceration, are influencing current efforts to reform the prison system and shift to ‘alternatives to incarceration’.

Journal

Historical MaterialismBrill

Published: Mar 29, 2019

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