Toward a Theorization of the U.S. “Prison Regime”

White Supremacy, Bodily Immobilization, and the “Society Structured in Dominance”


S ometimes forgotten in the current epoch of “globalized” and hypermobile technologies of power are the regimes of bodily immobilization that counterpose social formation and global civil society with the production of new mass-based carceral forms, (undeclared) war zones, and what might be called unfree worlds. I contend that the particular production of U.S. global power in which we are all differently encircled, located/dislocated, and implicated at the current moment works and weaves through the institutionality peculiar coercive technology, and socially ordering and disarticulating logic of the U.S. prison regime. That is, I am convinced that the visceral and persistently abstracted logic of bodily domination that crystallizes in the regime of the American prison is fundamental to the articulation of U.S. state-mediated and state-sanctioned methods of legitimated “local” (state) violence at sites across the planetary horizon. Addressing this particular moment and geography of mass-based, rigorously institutionalized, and altogether normalized human capture, this chapter is structured around two theoretical concerns.


Civil Society Homeland Security Social Formation Global Civil Society Cultural Transformation 
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© Emory Elliott, Jasmine Payne, and Patricia Ploesch, eds. 2007

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