Sociology, Ethnic and Racial Studies.
Sociology, Social Structure and Development.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractCriminal Alienation: Arizona Prison Expansion 1993-2003 argues that border militarization and the criminalization of Latino immigrants has increasingly driven Arizona prison expansion between 1993 and 2003. It identifies four policy shifts that have reversed decarceration trends in the state's prison growth over this ten year period, resulting in the emergence of an expanding "border-prison system". The project both enacts and argues in favor of a politically participatory cultural studies methodology, guided by a post-structuralist Marxist theoretical approach stressing interdependencies between political economic processes and subject formation. Criminal Alienation offers an intervention in the field of cultural studies, arguing for the foregrounding of state repression in the study of capital and social power relations. It also contributes to the field of prison studies with an analysis of the role of U.S. immigration policy, narratives of immigration, and the social production of "criminal alien" and "consenting citizen" identities in the expansion of the contemporary prison industrial complex. The case studies in Criminal Alienation center on narratives and practices surrounding the emergence of immigrant-only prisons, both state and federal, in Arizona. The project analyzes a variety of repressive state practices and narratives, identifying the ways in which the effects of state coercion are manifested in the social reproduction and reiteration of the border-prison system as well as the ways that these effects shape networked abolitionists struggles in and beyond the region. Finally, Criminal Alienation identifies the Arizona-Sonora border region as a significant front in the struggle for prison abolition by delineating historical and contemporary linkages between abolitionist resistance strategies and practices and the emergence of collaborative, socially transformative visions of community-based development, led by the communities most adversely affected by coercive state practices.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Comparative Cultural and Literary Studies