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Offending Women Power, Punishment, and the Regulation of Desire by Lynne Haney

Offending Women Power, Punishment, and the Regulation of Desire


Offending Women Power, Punishment, and the Regulation of Desire by Lynne Haney

Offending Women is an eye-opening journey into the lived reality of prison for women in the United States today. Lynne Haney looks at incarcerated mothers, housed together with their children, who are serving terms in alternative, community-based prisons-a type of facility that is becoming increasingly widespread. Incorporating vivid, sometimes shocking observations of daily life, she probes the dynamics of power over women's minds and bodies that play out in two such institutions in California. She finds that these 'alternative' prisons, contrary to their aims, often end up disempowering women, transforming their social vulnerabilities into personal pathologies, and pushing them into a state of disentitlement. Uncovering the complex gendered under-pinning of methods of control and intervention used in the criminal justice system today, Offending Women links that system to broader discussions on contemporary government and state power and asks why these strategies have arisen at this particular moment in time, and considers what forms of citizenship they have given rise to.


I strongly recommend this book. Haney's account is rich with ethnographic detail that brings life to abstract debates about mode of governance and the state. American Journal Of Sociology / AJS Enriched with vivid images and details on incarcerated women's lives, this book reminds us of incarcerated women's social realities. -- Olivera Simic Feminist Review Insightful... This book will appeal to persons with an interest in women's studies. -- Jack E. Call Law & Politics Book Review Offending women makes excellent use of ethnographic material and close observation to build a compelling analysis of two state institutions. British Jrnl Of Sociology

About the Author

Lynne A. Haney is Professor of Sociology at New York University. She is the author of Inventing the Needy: Gender, Politics, and State Development in Hungary and a coauthor of Global Ethnography: Forces, Connections, and Imaginations in a Postmodern World (both available from UC Press). She is also the editor of Families of a New World: Gender, Politics, and State Development in a Global Context.

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Book Info

Publication date

16th February 2010


Lynne Haney

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University of California Press


304 pages





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