Posted on February 28, 2019


With Punishing the Poor, Loïc Wacquant makes an important and timely contribution in bringing attention to prisons as a core polit- ical institution of neoliberal. Punishing the Poor: The Neoliberal Government of Social Insecurity. By Loïc Wacquant. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, Pp. $ (cloth);. As well as serving an economic function, Loïc Wacquant argues that the transformation from welfare to mass incarceration and prison/workfare.

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It furthers the University’s objective of excellence in research, scholarship, and education by publishing worldwide. Wacquant has published an incisive and useful book that many political scientists will find of interest.

Punishing the Poor | Duke University Press

As Wacquant puts it, never has the ‘grandeur of the penal state’ shown itself more ostentatiously than it has in recent times, with the drive to regulate, discipline, and punish making itself felt all across the estate of the marginalised classes, in ever more intense and chillingly creative ways as an aside, Wacquant is keen to distance himself from the work of Michel Foucault on this point, who, in his forecast of the decline of the prison as an institution of societal control, foresaw neither the explosive growth of penal practices, nor their being put to use for the sheer neutralisation of bodies as opposed to their function as a mechanism of discipline.

It should be read carefully and intentionally in graduate courses, in advanced undergraduate seminars, and among scholarly and professional circles alike. Police—Citizen Relations Across the World: Annick rated it liked it Mar 21, States have retreated from their responsibilities to the majority of the population in the economic sphere, turned welfare into machine for forcing workers into the ever growing precarious sector of the labour market, and dealt with those areas, classes and ethnicities who have suffered the most at the hands of the lack of stable employment opportunities and adequate social security with relentless and intruisive policing followed up with grotesque levels of incarceration.


As a sideways study of the neoliberal state, Punishing the Poor thus also deftly shows how for all it’s rhetoric of laissez-faire, the call for ‘small government’ – when examined in practice – only really applies to those at the at the top of the societal ladder; as for those dwelling at the bottom, never has the Leviathan flexed itself in so expansive and heavy-handed a manner.

There are no discussion topics on this book yet. His leaps of metaphor and his daring allusions are puniahing continuous and often delightful spectacle. To me, this lack of objectivity makes me question the validity of some of his data and conclusions and detracts from his otherwise notable study into this very essential sociological subject.

Part 3 – “Priviliged Targets” is divided into hhe distinct case studies, the first being “The Prison as Surrogate Ghetto” deals in further detail with black experience of the penal system; and “Moralism and Punitive Panopticism” engages with the subject of prison and sexual offenders in a refreshingly objective manner, charting the moral posturing of politicians and the media against a punitive regime that may well increase rates of recidivism, and arguing for a dispassionate, rigorously scientific re-look at the whole question of sexual offenders with a view to reducing rates of re-offending and providing the most effective protection of the public.

You do not currently have access to this article. There is nothing funny about the carceral state, but Wacquant is wry and his writing lyrical.

Tables and Figures ix Prologue: Page numbers if excerpting, provide specifics For coursepacks, please also note: The punitive turn of penal policy in the United States after the acme of the Civil Punjshing movement responds not to rising criminal insecurity but to the social insecurity spawned by the fragmentation of wage labor and the shakeup of the ethnoracial hierarchy. You could not be signed in.


Punishing the Poor: The Neoliberal Government of Social Insecurity

If you are requesting permission to photocopy material for classroom use, please contact the Tge Clearance Center at copyright. Wacquant has hugely enriched and extended existing analyses of regulatory control.

Liam rated it it was amazing Feb 18, Paperbackpages. Johannes Wilson rated it really liked it Feb 06, Zach Baumgart rated it it was amazing Apr 01, The biggest, but far from fatal, shortcoming of the book is the occasional descent into punisuing might be regarded as academic jargon. The Prison as Surrogate Ghetto: The Neoliberal Government of Social Insecurity.

His writing is always lively. Close mobile search navigation Article navigation. Title of the journal article or book chapter and title of journal or title of book 3.

Punishing the Poor: The Neoliberal Government of Social Insecurity by Loïc Wacquant

It begins with a comprehensive debunking of zero-tolerance policing in particular that of New Yorks Mayor Rudy Giuliani, before moving on to general European turn to a workfare and prisonfare state, with particular focus on the experience of Wacquants native France. He has spotted some things that are very important and that social scientists should take more seriously.

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Overall this book makes a significant contribution to radical criminology and is well worth reading.