The Economic Field and the End of Mass Incarceration
In a recent special issue of Social Justice (Vol. 42-2), a series of critical contributions examine recent developments in North American penal systems, offering hypotheses around the apparent end of mass incarceration. This commentary adopts a materialistic perspective, taking as a starting point the work of Rusche and Kirchheimer, and it tries to update their analysis through the concept of economic field, a useful concept for understanding the contemporary material function of the prison institution in advanced societies. The analysis proposed is then brought to bear on the debate around mass incarceration and its alleged end.
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