The Culture of Punishment: Prison, Society, and Spectacle

The Culture of Punishment: Prison, Society, and Spectacle

by Michelle Brown

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Overview

The Culture of Punishment: Prison, Society, and Spectacle by Michelle Brown

America is the most punitive nation in the world, incarcerating more than 2.3 million people—or one in 136 of its residents. Against the backdrop of this unprecedented mass imprisonment, punishment permeates everyday life, carrying with it complex cultural meanings. In The Culture of Punishment, Michelle Brown goes beyond prison gates and into the routine and popular engagements of everyday life, showing that those of us most distanced from the practice of punishment tend to be particularly harsh in our judgments.

The Culture of Punishment takes readers on a tour of the sites where culture and punishment meet—television shows, movies, prison tourism, and post 9/11 new war prisons—demonstrating that because incarceration affects people along distinct race and class lines, it is only a privileged group of citizens who are removed from the experience of incarceration. These penal spectators, who often sanction the infliction of pain from a distance, risk overlooking the reasons for democratic oversight of the project of punishment and, more broadly, justifications for the prohibition of pain.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780814791455
Publisher: New York University Press
Publication date: 10/15/2009
Series: Alternative Criminology
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 260
File size: 3 MB

About the Author

Michelle Brown is Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Tennessee and Fellow at the Indiana University Poynter Center for the Study of Ethics and American Institutions and author of The Culture of Punishment: Prison, Society, and Spectacle.

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