Punishing the Poor The Neoliberal Government of Social Insecurity

ISBN-10: 082234422X

ISBN-13: 9780822344223

Edition: 2009

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The punitive turn taken by penal policies in advanced societies over the past two decades does not pertain to the traditional duo of crime and punishment. Rather, it heralds the establishment of a new government of social insecurity aimed at molding the conduct of the men and women caught in the turbulence of economic deregulation and the conversion of welfare into a springboard toward precarious employment. Within this "liberal-paternalist" apparatus, the prison has recovered its original mission: to tame the populations and the territories rebellious to the emerging economic and moral order, and to ritually reassert the fortitude of the rulers. It is in the United States that this new politics and policy of marginality wedding restrictive "workfare" and expansive "prisonfare" was invented, in the wake of the social and racial reaction of the 1970s that was the crucible of the neoliberal revolution.Punishing the Poortakes the reader inside America's prison to probe the entrails of the bulimic carceral state that has risen on the ruins of the charitable state and the black ghetto. It demonstrates how, in the era of fragmented labor, the regulation of the lower classes no longer involves solely the maternal arm of the social-welfare state, but crucially implicates the stern and virile arm of the penal state. And it explains why the battle against crime is both a reaction to, and a diversion from, the new social question: namely, the generalization of insecure work and its impact on the life spaces and strategies of the urban proletariat. By uncovering the material underpinnings and unhinging the symbolic springs of the law-and-order reason that is now sweeping through the countries of the First and Second worlds, this bold book linking social and penal policies makes an original contribution to the historical anthropology of the state in the age of triumphant neoliberalism.
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Book details

Copyright year: 2009
Publisher: Duke University Press
Publication date: 5/22/2009
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 408
Size: 6.25" wide x 9.25" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 1.518
Language: English

Tables and Figures
Prologue: America as Living Laboratory of the Neoliberal Future
Social Insecurity and the Punitive Upsurge
Poverty of the Social State
The Criminalization of Poverty in the Post-Civil Rights Era
Welfare "Reform" as Poor Discipline and Statecraft
Grandeur of the Penal State
The Great Confinement of the Fin de Siecle
The Coming of Carceral "Big Government"
Privileged Targets
The Prison as Surrogate Ghetto: Encaging Black Subproletarians
Moralism and Punitive Panopticism: Hunting Down Sex Offenders
European Declinations
The Scholarly Myths of the New Law-and-Order Reason
Carceral Aberration Comes to France
Theoretical Coda: A Sketch of the Neoliberal State
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