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SOC 334

Prison History and Culture

This course focuses on sociological analyses of prisons in the United States from their inception to present day. Racism, poverty and masculinity provide a central analytic frame for understanding this unique and powerful form of social control. We consider the following questions: Why do we incarcerate more people than any other country in the world? Why are poor, young, African-American men disproportionately represented in prison? Was convict leasing simply slavery in a different guise? Why is prison big business, and who benefits from it? Does prison create crime? What does prison do to those who live and work behind bars? What is the future of incarceration? Prerequisites: one course in sociology or permission of instructor.

Distribution Area Prerequisites Credits
One course in Sociology or permission of instructor 1 course