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The Jail: Managing the Underclass in american society Paperback – January 16, 1992

ISBN-13: 978-0520060326 ISBN-10: 0520060326
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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

"Irwin is a skilled and brilliant ethnographer and the chapters are full of rich, subjective data clearly linked to human misery, and set in a context of powerlessness." –Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice

"Irwin’s discussion of the dynamics of jail life makes this a very important book that should be read by all students of social control." –American Journal of Sociology
--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

John Irwin (1929 - 2010) was known internationally as an expert in the American prison system. He earned his Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of California Berkeley and taught as a professor at San Francisco State University. He is the author of The Felon (UC Press), Scenes, Prisons in Turmoil, It's About Time: America's Imprisonment Binge (with James Austin), Lifers: Seeking Redemption in Prison and The Warehouse Prison: Disposal of the New Dangerous Class.
--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 168 pages
  • Publisher: University of California Press (January 16, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0520060326
  • ISBN-13: 978-0520060326
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.4 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,123,279 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By loic@uclink4.berkeley.edu on October 31, 1998
Format: Paperback
A remarkable inside account, inspired by Goffman, of the effects of jail on inmates and the social functions of jails in the US: managing the "rabble" and enforcing a social order built on vertiginous inequalities. Superbly written and argued, a model of responsible social inquiry
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5 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Canadian Review of Books on February 25, 2007
Format: Paperback
THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT ACADEMIC STUDY OF AMERICAN JAILS. IRWIN HAS WRITTEN A BOOK THAT SHOULD BE READ BY THE PUBLIC AND POLICY MAKERS. HE ILLUSTRATES HOW POVERTY AND INEQUALITY CREATED A POPULATION THAT WAS PROCESSED BY THE COURTS AND JAILS INTO UNDERCLASS RABLE. THE MOST VULNERABLE POPULATION, THROUGH REPEATED TERMS IN JAIL IS TRANSFORMED INTO RABLE. THE THESIS OF THE BOOK IS THAT THE JAILS PREPARE THE POOR TO BE UNDERCLASS. THE BOOK SHOULD BE READ BY ANYBODY INTERESTED IN UNDERSTANDING WHY HOMELESSNESS AND PETTY CRIME HAVE BECOME A FEATURE OF EVERY MAJOR AMERICAN CITY.
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