Friday, January 08, 2010

The Big House: Image and Reality of the American Prison




The Big House: Image and Reality of the American Prison 


By Stephen Cox

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Yale University Press (November 3, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0300124198
  • ISBN-13: 978-0300124194




Here's the blurb:


“The Big House" is America’s idea of the prison— a huge, tough, ostentatiously oppressive pile of rock, bristling with rules and punishments, overwhelming in size and the intent to intimidate. Stephen Cox tells the story of the American prison—its politics, its sex, its violence, its inability to control itself—and its idealization in American popular culture. This book investigates both the popular images of prison and the realities behind them : problems of control and discipline, maintenance and reform, power and sexuality. It conveys an awareness of the limits of human and institutional power, and of the symbolic and iconic qualities the “Big House” has attained in America’s understanding of itself.


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