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1 Local Warehouse Feminist Studies- Sex and Power

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Unruly Women: The Politics of Confinement & Resistance


Unruly Women: The Politics of Confinement & Resistance Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Winner of the VanCity Book Prize, Unruly Women: The Politics of Confinement & Resistance is the seminal book about womens imprisonment that helped spark examinations around the world into the special circumstances women face in prison, as well as the sex and gender crimes that get them there. Most women who are incarcerated do not pose a danger to society but transgress patriarchal, capitalist norms that seek to control their bodies and choices, as seen in the case of prostitution and prosecutions of pregnant women for risky behaviors. Further, the majority of women who enter the criminal justice system have been victims of violence, which raises questions about the continuum from victimization to criminalization. Unruly Women explores patterns of female crimes and punishments, from the witch hunts to the present; institutionalized violence and sexual abuse against incarcerated women; women loving women in prison; motherhood inside prison; battered woman syndrome; Hollywoods formulaic women-in-prison films; political education in prisons; and acts of resistance, inside and out. Karlene Faith challenges misconceptions of "deviant" women, and celebrates the unruly woman: the unmanageable woman who claims her own body, and who cannot be silenced. As the "drug war" wages on, riddled with excessive and inequitable prison sentences; the incarcerated population skyrockets toward 2.5 million (up from less than 200,000 nationwide in 1970); and private prisons burgeon around the coasts, now is a critical moment to educate ourselves about what is at stake with our prison system. Faiths incisive work causes us to question the usefulness of the forced confinement and surveillance of mostly nonviolent people.

Book News Annotation:

This volume, a reprinting of the 1993 original publication, examines the unique status of women in prison and argues that, because women convicted of crimes often pose no threat to continuing social order, their punishment reflects other processes at work, foremost the desire of the patriarchal system to punish women who challenge the gender and social norms of male dominated society. This timely work sheds light on the status and situation of inmates and former prisoners in an era of unprecedented levels of institutionalized incarceration. Faith is a lifetime social justice activist and is professor emerita of criminology at Simon Frasier University, Canada. Annotation ©2011 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

About the Author

A human rights activist for five decades, KARLENE FAITH is Canadas leading feminist sociologist on prisons. Her seminal book, Unruly Women, raised many crucial questions that define the prison reform movements of today. Co-founder of the revolutionary Santa Cruz Womens Prison Project in 1972, and author of many books on criminology and womens studies, Faith is currently professor emerita at Simon Fraser Universitys School of Criminology.

Product Details

Faith, Karlene
Seven Stories Press
Gender Studies-Womens Studies
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
9 x 6.01 x 0.97 in 0.9 lb

Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Crime » Prisons and Prisoners
History and Social Science » Feminist Studies » Sex and Power
History and Social Science » Gender Studies » Womens Studies
History and Social Science » Military » General History
History and Social Science » Military » Weapons » General
History and Social Science » Sociology » Crime

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Product details 368 pages Seven Stories Press - English 9781609801373 Reviews:
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