The Society of Captives: A Study of a Maximum Security Prison

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Princeton University Press, 2007 - Social Science - 161 pages
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The Society of Captives, first published in 1958, is a classic of modern criminology and one of the most important books ever written about prison.


Gresham Sykes wrote the book at the height of the Cold War, motivated by the world's experience of fascism and communism to study the closest thing to a totalitarian system in American life: a maximum security prison. His analysis calls into question the extent to which prisons can succeed in their attempts to control every facet of life--or whether the strong bonds between prisoners make it impossible to run a prison without finding ways of "accommodating" the prisoners.


Re-released now with a new introduction by Bruce Western and a new epilogue by the author, The Society of Captives will continue to serve as an indispensable text for coming to terms with the nature of modern power.


  

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Contents

The Prison and Its Setting
3
The Regime of the Custodians
13
The Defects of Total Power
40
The Pains of Imprisonment
63
Argot Roles
84
Crisis and Equilibrium
109
A Postscript for Reformers
130
The StructuralFunctional Perspective on Imprisonment
135
A Note on Method
147
The Routine of Imprisonment
149
Index
157
Copyright

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About the author (2007)

Gresham M. Sykes is Professor of Sociology Emeritus at the University of Virginia. He is the author of many books, including "Social Problems in America" and "Crime and Society", and the coauthor of "Criminology".

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