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Identity ComplexMaking the Case for Multiplicity$
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Michael Hames-García

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780816649853

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816649853.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM MINNESOTA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.minnesota.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Minnesota Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MNSO for personal use.date: 20 June 2021

Do Prisons Make Better Men?

Do Prisons Make Better Men?

(p.113) 4 Do Prisons Make Better Men?
Identity Complex

Michael Hames-García

University of Minnesota Press

This chapter presents a case study of the theoretical models explored in the previous chapters—multiplicity, mutual constitution, and the colonial/modern gender system. The case study is two headed, addressing the question, “Do prisons make better men?” First, it discusses the social, economic, and political underpinning of the contemporary U.S. prison crisis. Second, it analyzes one of the most famous complex cultural representations of that crisis, the cable television drama series Oz. The study adds a voice to those calling for a more multifaceted consideration of the social functions of incarceration in the United States. Oz offers an opportunity to deepen this theoretical intervention given its own attentiveness to masculinity, race, and sexuality. The show also examines the role of white masculinity in determining the limits of mass media cultural representations for effectively challenging the underpinning of oppression and domination in U.S. society.

Keywords:   multiplicity, mutual constitution, colonial/modern gender system, prison, U.S. prison crisis, media cultural representations, Oz, masculinity, race, sexuality

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