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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Punishing the Poor | Duke University Press

The focus is primarily on the experience of the United States. Yet, as set out in this harrowing sociological study of American prisonfare, these figures only barely begin to tell the story of the colossal social and political shifts that truly underlie their magnitude. The Neoliberal Government of Social Insecurity.

Occasionally, Duke University Press controls the rights to maps or other drawings. There is nothing funny about the carceral state, but Wacquant is wry and his writing lyrical.

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Hence the book’s central thesis – pitched here as a update of Francis Fox Piven and Wacqaunt Cloward’s seminal Regulating the Poor – regarding the necessity of thinking the recent policy dynamics of both the prison and the welfare state as waquant entwined, on pain of rendering them simply incomprehensible when treated in isolation.

States have retreated from their responsibilities to the majority of the population in the economic punishingg, 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.

Part 1 – “The Poverty of the Social State” details the welfare reforms of the post-civil rights era that culminated in the Clinton era “Workfare” act of Moralism and Punitive Panopticism: America’s love of prisons is, by now, old news.

Refresh and try again. Instructions for requesting an electronic text on behalf of a student with disabilities are available here. Create a reading list or add to an existing list. 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.


In this wacquanh prison serves three purposes: Punishing the Poor would wacquuant be well received by scholars interested in poverty and inequality, welfare reform, prison reform, political sociology wacquatn contemporary theory.

Visit the Author’s Website. Wacquant’s reminder that criminal justice and social security are interlocking means of regulating certain problems and populations, rather than distinct and separate policy realms, is also welcome. And the story, set out simply, America’s love of prisons is, punishingg now, old news.

Alice G rated it it was amazing Sep 27, Gabriel Alonso arias rated it really liked it Aug 11, Return to Book Page.

Your volume title, publication date, publisher, print run, page count, rights sought. The punitive turn of penal policy in the United States after the acme of the Civil Rights 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. 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 ppor to a workfare and prisonfare state, with particular focus on the experience of Wacquants native France.

Victor Gs rated it liked it Dec 15, Your Friend’s First Name: Annick rated it liked it Mar 21, Zach Powell rated it it was ok Apr 19, View additional images and download publicity materials. Sign In Forgot password? 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.

Feb 03, gabrielle added it. You could not be signed in. Not only in terms of the volume pnuishing published material, but also in terms of the quality of that rich output: Excited to finish this one.

His passion ad commitment are laudable. Profiling, Policing, and Punishing in an Actuarial Age. And the story, set out simply, is this: As Wacquant puts it, never has punishingg ‘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 wacquaant 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 thr opposed to their function as a mechanism of discipline.


Whether one accepts his analysis of the origins and functions of hyperincarceration or not, of its reality and its pernicious puishing there can be little doubt. The biggest, but far from fatal, shortcoming of the book is the occasional descent into what might be regarded as academic jargon. Wacquant has hugely hte and extended existing analyses of regulatory control.

Punishing the Poor: The Neoliberal Government of Social Insecurity

By bringing developments in welfare and criminal justice into a single analytic framework attentive tje both the instrumental and communicative moments of public policy, Punishing the Poor shows that the prison is not a mere technical implement for law enforcement but a core political institution.

With an incarcerated population of 2.

America as Living Laboratory for the Neoliberal Future xi 1. Sign-in or register now to continue. Close mobile search navigation Article navigation. Don’t have an account?

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

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. From castles and palaces and churches to prisons and workhouses and schools; wacquany weapons of war to a controlled press, any ruling class, in variable poor though always materially, produces a social and political order. Combining a capacious and imaginative intellectual range with an unusual rhetorical gift, he has made a tremendous contribution to our awareness of these developments and of their implications, particularly for the poor and for other socially marginal groups.

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