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Punks, Snitches, and Real Men: Negotiations of Masculinity and Rehabilitation Among Prison Inmates

Punks, Snitches, and Real Men: Negotiations of Masculinity and Rehabilitation Among Prison Inmates

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North American prisons are centers of state power, as well as focal
points of media representation and public imagination. Despite popular
scholarly portrayals positing prisoners as helpless subjects whom
the state unilaterally classifies and disciplines, I argue that by negotiating
and performing various masculinities, prison inmates create
new forms of empowerment through which social transformations
take place. We see that correctional institutions allow inmates spaces
for negotiation of the terms of confinement by expanding the minimums
of personal agency afforded by imprisonment through communities
of support. These communities configure competing paradigms
of masculinity by defining alternative pathways of rehabilitation.
North American prisons are centers of state power, as well as focal
points of media representation and public imagination. Despite popular
scholarly portrayals positing prisoners as helpless subjects whom
the state unilaterally classifies and disciplines, I argue that by negotiating
and performing various masculinities, prison inmates create
new forms of empowerment through which social transformations
take place. We see that correctional institutions allow inmates spaces
for negotiation of the terms of confinement by expanding the minimums
of personal agency afforded by imprisonment through communities
of support. These communities configure competing paradigms
of masculinity by defining alternative pathways of rehabilitation.

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Theory in Action, Vol. 3, No.3, July 2010 (© 2010) DOI:10.3798/tia.1937-0237.


Punks, Snitches, and Real Men: Negotiations of Masculinity and Rehabilitation Among Prison Inmates1 Robert Lewis Clark*
North American prisons are centers of state power, as well as focal points of media representation and public imagination. Despite popular scholarly portrayals positing prisoners as helpless subjects whom the state unilaterally classifies and disciplines, I argue that by negotiating and performing various masculinities, prison inmates create new forms of empowerment through which social transformations take place. We see that correctional institutions allow inmates spaces for negotiation of the terms of confinement by expanding the minimums of personal agency afforded by imprisonment through communities of support. These communities configure competing paradigms of masculinity by defining alternative pathways of rehabilitation. [Article copies available for a fee from The Transformative Studies Institute. E-mail address: journal@transformativestudies.org Website: http://www.transformativestudies.org ©2010 by The Transformative Studies Institute. All rights reserved.] KEYWORDS: Social Control, Prison, Deviance, Masculinity, Rehabilitation, Institutions, Anthropology. I am standing in the middle of the block, my arms outstretched as if I’ve been crucified. In each hand I hold the lanyard of a bucket filled with water. My arms tremble and I begin to wonder who exactly I’m trying to impress. The block has grown silent since the ordeal has begun, but I can feel a hundred sets of eyes staring at me. Even the easygoing old correc-

Robert Lewis Clark, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of anthropology at Mansfield University of Pennsylvania. His Ph.D. and M.Phil (Anthropology) were awarded by Yale University in 2008 and 2002, respectively. His BA (Anthropology) was granted by the University of New Hampshire in 1995. The data upon which the present submission was based was gathered during fieldwork carried out in Connecticut prisons from 2001-2004. Address correspondence to: Robert Lewis Clark, Sociology and Anthropology , 213 Pinecrest Manor, Mansfield University, Mansfield PA 16933; Tel: (203)530-9331; e-mail: rlclark@mansfield.edu. 1937-0229 ©2010 Transformative Studies Institute 63


—Fieldnotes At ten seconds it seemed easy.” said Mushy. Fifty was pure torture. Seemly immediately informed me that he had “forgotten” to study. and then asked. I completed the trial.” said the guard. “Are you supposed to be allowed to use your textbook?” He responded.Robert Lewis Clark tional officer who had just been telling us about his customized conversion van grows silent. “Well. I had not planned to be at the prison on the day of the exam. I thought briefly. “Bet you can’t last two minutes. holding the two buckets aloft for the full minute.” an inmate named Mushy had told me. and asked me if it would be okay for him to refer to his textbook during the exam. At forty. My arms twitched in protest as I slowly let them down. congratulated me on my feat with a declaration of admiration perhaps unique to Hillsford CI: “I wish I could treat you to a slice of cake. At thirty. The fire extinguished. the officer on duty told me I was going to administer exams for two inmates. “He’s doing it…he’s almost there” remarked the guard. Sweat was beading on my forehead and all I wanted was to put the buckets down. I faced a different sort of trial. the former burglar. come on. I was amazed when Dorobo D’Angelo. A loud whisper of “He did it!” was emitted from a small group near the center. my upper arms and shoulders were aflame. By the following day. no. requested that I proctor an exam he was about to take for a college correspondence course.” I considered his 64 . yet I made a special trip to Protective Custody in order to accommodate this request. huh Mushy?” said the guard to the lanky inmate who was now staring at me in disbelief. Hush Seemly. you’re shaking. “You’ll never be able to do it. Yet my muscles were spurred on by the knowledge I had only a few seconds to go. an inmate whom I had tutored for several months. “Thirty seconds left. “Guess you were wrong. thusly earning a bit of additional respect from officers and inmates alike. I had passed a rite of initiation. show us you’re a real man. with a slight smile.” On another occasion. When I reached the block. After conducting research in one of Connecticut’s maximum security prisons for nearly two years. I sighed with relief. but I know you’re nice and you’ll let me. word of my accomplishment had spread beyond Protective Custody to the general population. Money changed hands in small circles throughout the block. glancing at his watch. dull pains began in my forearms and my arms trembled. The block tierman nodded affirmatively and made hand signals at some men who were peering out of their cell door windows.

Connell. and how you handled it.” but with much complaint. While testing does not exclusively validate nor define “masculine” genders. it felt wrong. The second ordeal—Seemly’s demand that I let him take his exam open-book—was a test of my integrity versus his will. who was also taking a test. these trials exhibit different criteria of masculinity 2 as it was envisioned within Hillsford CI. Again. The following week. he blamed this failure on me. Later that day. to ensure that he was adequately prepared for the test. inmate Gabriel Dubois told me that I had gained significant respect by standing up to an inmate who was trying to pressure me into doing something I felt was wrong. The water trial demanded the audacity to publicly take up a challenge and the physical strength necessary to master it.Theory in Action request. but not necessarily to make things easy for him.” Through these trials. decided to take the exam.W. reluctantly admitting I was right. “Everyone in here knows what he tried to pull. I told him that if the exam was supposed to be taken closed book. Mushy received his results back. he had failed. According to the inmates. it was brave and therefore “manly” of me to subject myself to their judgment if I failed. negotiation with staff. quietly observed this exchange. or are their possibilities for nuance and subtlety in these performances? In this paper I interrogate the ways in which Hillsford CI inmate defined and performed masculinities as a space of sovereignty. I define the hegemonic masculinity of the prison according to the normative impulses I observed and recorded during my fieldwork. I begin by contextualizing my understanding of masculinity within the institution according to the Gramscian model proposed by sociologist R. Before many other inmates. as his friend. Mushy finally backed off. I countered this accusation by saying I felt it was my duty. then I could not allow him to use his reference materials. However. it is necessary to understand the bedrock means by which inmates within the prison I 65 . other inmates took note. Seemly scoffed at this show of “ethics. and manipulation. Through closer analysis. loudly proclaiming that I was not his true friend since I had not allowed him to use his book. Inmate Dan Redman. I learned about the expectations of masculinity at Hillsford CI. before these modes of masculine self-presentation may be approached. I then illustrate three ways in which inmates performed masculinity: through writing. Yet do prison inmates uphold only these stereotypical conceptions of masculinity. we may comprehend what these trials suggest about the narratives of masculinity they manifested and how they relate to prisoners’ conceptions of rehabilitation. You showed you’re the better man.

The basic zone of sovereignty was the body. inmates made use of recreational time to run.” was the ability to avoid bullying or sexual exploitation. which served to protect them from the intensified forms of state power manifested there and consequently paved the way for rehabilitative change. instead or in addition to socializing. self-presentation.” depended upon the inmate’s ability to maintain his own physical health and strength despite the stress produced by the continual need to present a stoic “false front. control over them allowed each inmate to form protective layers of empowerment. The ideal was that an inmate’s body was his personal domain. which should be made resistant to the degrading effects of the institution’s deadening routines and defended against other inmates. it manifested in four different forms. personal sovereignties encapsulated aspects of life which I refer to as zones. watching television. enhanced through diet and exercise. Those able to project an air of confidence were usually left unmolested by others. Sovereignty over each zone was contingent upon the character. I illustrate how prisoners negotiated spaces for agency through various personal and collective sovereignties within the prison. The first of these. it also implied coolness under pressure and an unflappable demeanor.Robert Lewis Clark worked created spaces for the potential exercise of personal agency. I refer to this aspect as “anti-invasive. partaking in “vegetarian” cafeteria foods as a healthier alternative to the standard foods offered by the institution. ZONES OF SOVEREIGNTY Within the prison. or playing cards. and supplementing the institutional diet with additional fare purchased from the commissary. ostensibly for purposes of “security.” for it describes the inmate’s ability to maintain the integrity of his physical self.” so that no inmate 66 .” Constitution included personal health and fitness. play sports. which I refer to as “constitution. which I call “integrity. For example. inmates receiving visitors were routinely strip searched and/or cavity searched. and social skills of the inmate. These untouchables were the opposite of “punks”— weak-willed. The third aspect of sovereignty over the body represented the capacity to mitigate the harsh intrusions of the institution upon and even into the inmate’s body. In the following section. Through fitness regimes. While integrity was based upon physical prowess and the appearance of toughness. or lift weights. The second aspect of bodily sovereignty. easily exploited inmates— and were consequently respected.

lay at the junction between the inmate and his environment. When the air conditioning broke down during the summer of 2003. Except for lifethreatening conditions. drawn by inmate artists. the arrangement of tables in the recreational area. The prison Foucault describes in Discipline and Punish. and small plastic gears from personal cassette stereos. Within these institutions. Inmates were permitted to hang non-pornographic posters. and 3 artwork in their cells. Inmates used their connections with correctional officers to limit the frequency. by the time of the appointment. Inventive methods of obtaining medical supplies and medicines existed at the boundary between bodily and material sovereignty. existed in the workhouses and reformatories of Europe and America in the 19th century. magazines. In these early prisons. Pain from cavities was usually treated with aspirin. Material sovereignty. the cavity had often progressed to the point where the tooth had to be removed. based upon the Panopticon model of Jeremy Bentham. prisoners’ rights were seldom considered. dentist appointments took even longer. photographs. prisoners’ lives deeply engage with the networks of the external world. Self-expression in the form of unique hairdos. The fourth aspect of bodily sovereignty. and the placement of metal detectors in the hallways were all fixed. inmates usually had to wait for weeks in order to see a doctor. elastic bands. many obtained tattoos. most importantly with the global flows of capitalism. the second zone of sovereignty. Inmates with connections to medical staff could arrange to have their appointments moved to an earlier date. aside from an echoing sentiment of means to “humanely” discipline offenders. inmates were segregated from public society in order to avoid its “contaminating” influences.” was the ability to access medical care when needed. The shapes of cells and cellblocks. and 67 . there was a buffer zone between the impassive physical structures of the prison and the body of the inmate: personal decoration and customization of the body and the cell alike expressed individuality in an institution where anonymity was normative.Theory in Action should receive drugs or other illegal paraphernalia from a visitor and convey them to the cell blocks. and thoroughness of such searches and thus preserved a degree of bodily integrity. duration. Television. These artisans assembled their own equipment according to a simple. which I refer to as “therapeutic. While not officially allowed. and sneakers was an important aspect of material sovereignty. reliable design incorporating parts from ballpoint pens. In the contemporary era. customized watches. wall hangings. Inmates had few means to directly affect the prison environment. However. even high ranking inmates suffered from the heat.

Thus. it was also about how inmates could become “productive” persons within the terms of capitalism. Because of this potential threat. Thusly. since they deterred against the possibility of theft. encouraging further stealing. While the commissary sold these items. a second aspect of material sovereignty was characterized by the exchange and consumption of commodities. while another entered the cell. Other potential guardians included a trusted cellmate. If the violated inmate did not respond by tracking down and confronting the thief. conversely. and even assault on the victim. Inmates sought powerful. unconfined by the regular inmate schedule. Typically. Default on these loans often resulted in physical retaliation. disciplinary actions could potentially reduce or eliminate the “right to consume” these items. inmates who found themselves unable to pay would request transfer to another facility in order to avoid the consequences. when an inmate visited the shower or took part in outdoor recreation. The third aspect of material sovereignty was the ability to secure one’s cell against raids by other inmates. mobile friends for this task. the pillaging of a cell was a sign of grave disrespect for the resident inmate. Officers were sometimes unwary of larcenous inmates slipping through these unguarded portals. To this end. These merchants sold their commodities at a profit of 50 to 100%: a “soup” sold to an inmate for credit on Tuesday required 5 two soups as payment the following Tuesday.” Larcenous “cell raids” were usually organized ahead of time by small groups of conspiring individuals. inmates hoarded caches of commissary and hygienic supplies. an inmate with business acumen and items to sell could feasibly double his 4 wealth each week. One method of conducting a raid was to have one inmate create a distraction for the officers.Robert Lewis Clark other media inform a deeply seated drive to consume commodities. or fellow gang members. 6 one’s “boys” (allies). inmates’ obedience to authority did not occur via state politics alone. every inmate who valued his assets needed an ally to watch over his domain during his absence. the theft would become a symbol of weakness. inmates also created unofficial barter economies. Tiermen were well-suited since they were free to move about during much of the day. 68 . Obviously. Careful husbandry of these precious commodities was an important aspect of material sovereignty. bullying. his cell door was required to remain open. Stories circulated about unscrupulous officers who had been paid off or intimidated into allowing thefts to occur. who would shortly find himself stigmatized as a “punk. some inmates operated “stores” out of their cells whose profitability depended upon weekly delivery of commissary goods.

close friendship. for it represented the strategies and tactics inmates used to manage social relationships with other inmates. and staff had the right to search one’s cell at will. At Hillsford CI. and various professionals. those with long or life sentences often focused inward.” as the inmate pictured himself in relation to a unique social world he perceived to exist beyond the prison.” Generally. lockdowns. peer groups. Likewise. However. A statement such as “He’s my boy. those with shorter sentences chose to orient themselves externally. or in some cases. Many of these inmates remained within their cells much of the time. Since this knowledge was a valuable commodity. touching the property of another inmate without his permission was assumed to indicate a desire to steal it. and staff. the purpose of new visitors. Stories circulated about the inmate who had killed his brother in retaliation for stealing his sneakers. Looking forward to the day of release and consequent social reunion with loved ones. 69 . being allowed or invited to touch another’s possessions was a sign of trust and alliance. and usually marked shared gang affiliation. It both overlapped and fluidly interacted with the other types of sovereignty. friends. an important facet of material sovereignty was that one’s property was sacrosanct. biological kin7 ship. whose relative liberty within the facility gave them access to diverse social networks. during recreation. even kinship did not guarantee trust. Sociopolitical sovereignty even extended into the “outside. Conversely. they relished visitation and other opportunities for communication with the outside world. they associated with longtimers but often kept their own company. I let him come in here and get whatever he needs” indicated mutual trust. In an institution where an inmate’s most valued possession might be a pair of sneakers or a small stereo. touching the belongings of another inmate—with larcenous intent or not—was a grave insult. maintaining high levels of contact with external friends and family. recent administrative actions. many inmates sought out the tiermen in order to obtain information on the general state of affairs within the facility. populated with family. seeing little hope for release. drug busts.Theory in Action As in bodily sovereignty. drills by the anti-riot tactical response team. The hub of cellblock sociality was almost always the tiermen. reporting imminent shakedowns. The third zone of sovereignty can be characterized as sociopolitical. and the results of inmate trials. Inmates maintained varying degrees of contact with the “outside. They were important sources of news from around the facility.

For Muslims incarcerated at Hillsford CI. At the same time. a form of conspicuous consumption suggesting one was serious about practicing Islam. Face to face communication could only be reliably established during meals and certain kinds of programs. Mastery of the sociopolitical zone was also paramount to pursuing rehabilitation. these intermediaries were central to all aspects of the prison’s social economy. When accompanied by the proper prayers. for it improved access to treatment services. Since the cellblocks were physically isolated from each other. one of the scarcest and most valuable commodities was known as “prayer oil. since they were exceedingly difficult to obtain. illustrating an overlap between material and sociopolitical sovereignties. Even the most casual of these connections was important for obtaining goods and services and gaining access to rehabilitative services. Tiny vials cost as much as 30 soups.Robert Lewis Clark the identity and mood of the next officer on duty. Worship services brought a flurry of note exchanges. As middlemen. an attitude which brought a measure of respect from other Muslims. These meetings comprised the primary means of interblock communication. Interpersonal relationships within Hillsford CI were characterized by constantly shifting allegiances which had to be continually maintained and renegotiated. acted as curriers conveying messages from one inmate to another. as inmates conveyed messages to distant allies and placed orders for goods through these go-betweens. were those who did not make promises they were unable or unwilling to keep. Often they were high-ranking inmates who maintained diplomatic ties to several factions within the prison.” or influence. fragrant liquid they used as a kind of cologne. An example of the social economy in action further illustrates sociopolitical sovereignty. Many favors which could be provided by other inmates were the result of prior connections. prayer oil was a compact 70 . Credibility was important to these relationships. These activities conjoined inmate politics with the prison’s social economy.” a sweet. and parlayed with the administration on the behalf of collective inmate interests. upkeep of relationships with allies and trading partners was difficult. Sociopolitical sovereignty was most accessible to those with highly developed social skills. particularly religious services and schooling. Those with the greatest “juice. trading partnerships were also maintained via notes passed through trusted intermediaries. and the availability of jobs and programming. breaking promises was one of the surest ways to lose all respect in the eyes of others. splashing this liquid on the face was considered a highly spiritual action. They ordered and delivered commodities. However. Use of prayer oil was a display of wealth in itself.

making “quite a 9 killing. Conversely. Principal Lake told me that many inmates found it “difficult” to apply for programming without help: many were unable to produce a satisfactory application because they 10 lacked basic writing skills. Narcotics Anonymous.” frequently boasting that he put some on every morning. in which case this program isn’t going to benefit him at all—it will just be another distraction. Admission to some programming was partially dependent upon an inmate’s written explanation of his reasons for wanting to attend the program. and none of the guys [already] in such pro71 . overseer of the Narcotics Anonymous peer group. who was not a Muslim. and other rehabilitative venues maintained selective entry standards. Within the social economy. Schooling. Counselor/Training Officer Gomez. maintained contact with outsiders who kept him supplied him with the substance. According to principal Aaron Lake. he then purveyed this to Muslim inmates attending Juma through middlemen such as Cash.” Juma was both a locus for exchange and a space for the negotiation and upkeep of friendship and alliance.” Its possession indicated that one had influence with other inmates. 3/2003). The final zone of sovereignty at Hillsford CI was that of rehabilitation. Dorobo D’Angelo.Theory in Action form of wealth and a solid investment for even non-Muslim entrepreneurs. and I see that he doesn’t have the rest of his life under control. who referred to it as “Muslim oil. Reggie Cash constantly sought out sources of the precious oil. through nurturance of relationships with key personnel. it was an important nexus for the negotiation of sociopolitical sovereignty. certain inmates stood a greater chance of acceptance. I can do one of two things: admit him. Even the Native American Church.” was required by law to accept applicants re11 gardless of descent. Inmates deemed incapable of the level of self-presentation needed for programming were turned away. He used the prayer oil as a public exhibition of his newfound “spirituality. the percentage of inmates accepted into these programs was less than ten percent (personal communication. another way to get out of the cell. Negotiating this sphere required the inmate to contest normative institutional meanings and values as well as maintain stewardship over the other zones of sovereignty. which outside of prison typically required members to have a specified amount of “Native American blood. vocational training. 8 During the great gathering of Muslim inmates at Juma each Friday. Only religious services were obliged to accept nearly all applicants. said: “If an inmate approaches me and says he wants to come into the program.

The ghetto. Connell (2005:5) suggests that language describes the faceless. HIERARCHIES OF MASCULINE KNOWLEDGE Parallel to the zones of sovereignty existed echelons of masculine knowledge which both upheld and supported these spheres of individual and collective power. In reality. whereby inmates who lacked basic coping mechanisms and educational skills—those most in need of programming–were turned away. inhabited by men and saturated with the “corporate masculinity” of state power. inmates could open spaces of rehabilitative potential. It’s being controlled by the Man…Ever since 1976. They realize that this is their only chance to make good in here.Robert Lewis Clark grams want to waste their time. for Gomez. an inmate had to be in command of his life in order to be admitted to these programs. The zones of sovereignty both conjoined and underwrote performances of inmate masculinity.W. while those who already possessed such competencies were accepted. For example.” Thus. so they are all serious—and I look for seriousminded people who are in control of themselves and not trying to hustle me. an inmate who was physically strong but lacked intellectual skills would at best end up as the lackey of a shrewder and savvier inmate. The Man’s answer to the problem is not more education—it’s more prisons. are themselves 12 coded as “masculine spaces. all aspects of their sovereignty had to be credible. likewise. By envisioning strategies of masculine performance which ran counter to prevailing notions of manhood. this condition could lead to a kind of Catch-22 situation. let’s lock them the fuck up. they stop trying to rehabilitate Brothers. So when you come outta there you’re all 13 braindead. The institutional spaces of male prisons. ostensibly “masculine” nature of state power in popular termi72 . it’s all institutionalized. Sociologist R. an inmate who attempted to bully others but lacked pugilistic physical skills would soon be discovered and made an example of. In order for an inmate’s masculine performance to be taken seriously by other inmates. so yeah it’s a cycle.” Rap singer Ice-T points toward this deep inscription of masculinity on the power of the state: It makes no difference whether you’re in or out. Now it’s strictly punishment. the Pen. They’re saying let’s not educate them.

In the remainder of this paper. only one form of masculinity is culturally celebrated. In Masculinities (2005). hegemonic masculinity among whites sustains the institu- 73 . However. hegemony suggests that for any given context.” According to this model. For example. learned practices 16 which are adapted. I show that the production and performance of masculinity as a sovereign space paralleled inmate efforts to create new identities through rehabilitation and was deeply connected to these efforts. By extending Antonio Gramsci’s concept of hegemony. Hillsford CI inmates created other forms of empowerment that paralleled their pursuit of rehabilitation. in a white-supremacist context. reducible to possession of male genitalia. Connell 17 explored the nature and construction of masculine identities. what I call “redemptive” masculinity was an empowering project of rehumanization. its performance allowed inmates to evade and contest the institutional will that attempted to both subordinate and infantilize them. W.” Despite the apparent monopoly of coercive and classificatory force enjoyed by the agents of this power. Underlying my argument is the anthropological understanding that masculinity is not assigned at 14 birth. Like rehabilitation. Central to this discussion is a theoretical framework developed by sociologist and educator R. it may be contested. while hegemony is related to cultural domin20 ance in society as a whole. interpreted. For Connell. each associated with different positions of power within a society or social struc18 ture (Connell 2005:6-8). Hegemonic masculinity stands at the pinnacle of these hierarchies. Connell. but is rather a set of competing. “it may be disrupted. he specifies that hegemony does not mean absolute control. Connell argues that there exist any number of different masculinities.Theory in Action nology: “The American black expression ‘The Man’ [fuses] white masculinity and institutional power. I illustrate several of the ways in which inmates configured masculinity at Hillsford CI. “black masculinities” play symbolic roles for the construction of “white masculinities. or even disrupt itself. connecting these performances to varying discourses of classification and rehabilitation. and performed. within this framework there are individual and specific relations of dominance and subordination between sets of men. rather. Connell argues that masculinities stand at different levels in local hierarchies of 19 knowledge (Connell 2005:37). or predetermined by 15 biological drives. The performance of masculinity was a form of power among those ensconced within these institutional spaces.” while “conversely.

religion. and economic ideologies intersected to provide dynamic templates of masculinity as a means to empowerment. there existed a continuum of gendered belonging stretching between the presumed polarities of masculinity and femininity. class. The unspoken imperative was to massively retaliate against perceived or real transgressions against one’s person. in order to gain initiation to such a group. The choice and assignment of gender was both an object of desire and a source of angst. religion or some other commonality.Robert Lewis Clark tional oppression and physical terror that have framed the making of 21 masculinities in black communities” (Connell 2005:80). the novice had to prove himself by undergoing rites of passage. possessions. or allies. The goal of these trials was always the same: to measure the new inmate’s aggressiveness. However. religious. “Weak” inmates had their lunch trays raided for favored items or simply thrown on the floor. based on race. sexual orientation. social mobility. provided a layer of protection against this constant testing. At the intersection of media imagery. the individual was expected to respond with physical intimidation or violence. as by default those who had not “proven” themselves in one way or another either lacked a masculine identity. the newcomer was label as “passive” and therefore feminine. If an immediate response was not forthcoming. or were “passive” and therefore feminine. the production of a discourse I call “redemptive masculinity” deeply intertwined with rehabilitation within an ideological nexus that was continually subjected to complex negotiation. Passivity or a diplomatic response “softened” the inmate in the eyes of others. Masculinities were shaped and influenced by race. TRIALS OF MASCULINE PERFORMANCE Within Hillsford CI. attempting to “hustle” them. To inmates and staff alike. Each of these various attacks merited a specific response. or by direct physical confrontation. carrying it along multiple axes of selfpresentation and identity. making it more likely that future tests would become harsher and more frequent. loans remained unpaid. social. Multiple-gender categories transcended simple dichotomies of gender. New prison inmates could anticipate other inmates challenging their masculinity by rummaging through their cells when they were absent. status. Social groups and gangs. and “coolness” under pressure. which generally called 74 . daring. and the limits of their generosity were tested on a daily basis. age. Masculinity was subject to constant challenge. and criminological narrative. and education. cultural.

or attack an incoming prisoner. we observe different forms of knowledge about masculinity. the arguably hegemonic discourse of masculinity was equated with hardness and toughness. partly reinforcing each other and partly at odds.Theory in Action upon the novice to bully. despite the emphasis on physical violence as a hallmark of real men. and popular magazines such as Men’s Health and Maxim (pornography and erotica were not officially permitted) proffered coherent images of “ideal” men. authority figures. steal from. Inmates played with these identities in the sovereign spaces between classification. audacity. communities of support clarified and legitimized redemptive masculinities. and act in regard to each other. and children. 75 . “common sense. members of rival groups. The hardships. For example. staff members. Through these media. strength. At Hillsford CI. substituting their own notions of the masculine ideal. As a result.” institutional constructions of masculinity to correspond with desires for rehabilitation and the “rehumanization” it promised. provided spaces within which various discourses of masculinity were configured. and scarcities of prison life delegated many 22 of the forms taken by competing visions of masculinity. classrooms. subjectivity. and workshops. Popular media provided a dynamic pastiche of masculinity which the inmates adapted and reproduced yet also contested. competing narratives of masculinity took on an array of forms. and contested daily in the cell blocks. monotonous routines. Through linkages to their communities of support. chow halls. sports. Through filters of authenticity. reality shows. inmates uncovered means of bending the more “criminal. size. Based upon this legitimization. necessities. The structure of the institution. and a shaved head. though deeply relevant ideology of manhood that inmates adapted. inmates looked to religion and the mass media in order to gather masculine knowledge. and agency. and selective programming. interpreted. In addition to each other. women. individual practitioners interpreted and performed modes of masculinity they believed were compatible with rehabilitation. the propensity to argue loudly and resort to violence in retaliation for wrongs (real or perceived). specifying the ways they should look. for officers. These ideologies represented an idealized. Rumor had it that some required the murder of rival gang members. A few gangs required new members to assault a correctional officer and spend time in segregation. speak. Police and medical dramas. some inmates challenged this form of masculinity. with its disciplinary codes and sanctions. and in some cases.” and everyday experience. and continual disdain for the system. based at the conflux between science.

young. or money. spirituality. and certain kinds of religious zeal. these stories provided cautionary tales about the possible consequences if they pursued romantic encounters with inmates. reordering relations with staff. Activity. institutionalization. According to some discourses of masculinity. antagonism. WRITING AS A MAN: RE-ENVISIONING INCARCERATION At Hillsford CI.Robert Lewis Clark and for inmates belonging to other gangs. According to staff versions of these stories. they were a source of endless fascination. drugs. other venues offered alternative modes of presentation. which portrayed the inmate as a predator seeking to “trick” staff. sex offenses. A typical story was a moral play in which a cunning inmate manipulated a lonely female officer into giving him sex. Throughout the remainder of this paper I examine the ways in which inmates constructed these alternative visions of redemptive masculinity: through construction of alternative visions of incarceration through writing. Inmates widely circulated stories of sexual encounters with female staff members. the inability to “get over” on staff.” However. inmates expressed what appeared to be 76 . While behavior was one way to approximate hegemonic masculinity.” low status. races. female staff members were the objects of male fantasy and sexual desire. budding romances between those on different sides of the law were con games that always ended in tragedy. and religions. Contrary to staff versions of these tales.” but passivity. depression. rationality. Some even considered paranoia. a “real man” was able to create and perform a durable identity. Inmates performed masculinities in different ways. dependence on others. For staff. schizophrenia and other forms of mental illness to be masculine. long hair. snitching.” the ability to trick or manipulate staff in order to obtain a favor. or service. and a tendency toward violent rage represented “strength. commodity. project. and therefore masculine. for sufferers rejected the reality of others in favor of their own interpretation—a highly ambitious. and then to uphold the integrity of that identity despite all challenges. and rehabilitation were feminine and “weak. Femininity was equated with a lanky build or “soft” physique. unwillingness to retaliate for wrongs. passivity. passive accep† tance of “the system. and “social engineering. many inmates contested these given categories of masculinity and femininity. reaction.

hopes. and then in dying gasps have they healed me. anxieties. 77 . where birds glide with ease through its unburdened clouds through struggle to spread their wings and fly up like I glide through in fantasy and yet struggle to fly past reality. and the possibility of spiritually transcending institutional life. erotic love became a symbol of freedom. KILLED ME. stories. which he said was about an inmate he had known.” Entitled Kiss Me. An high school educated African-American inmate of Hillsford CI named John Duncan wrote the play. and plays featuring ro23 mantic or sexual encounters between male inmates and female staff. Duncan’s prose seems to have been inspired by Shakespeare’s language and cadence. Five years since a young man have such views KISSED ME. Shortly before his execution. the inmate could express his loneliness and desire for freedom simultaneously. and dreams. Through such works. Heal Me. Yet here I stand. Those who could express these sentiments in an eloquent manner served as inspirations for other men to begin recording their own thoughts. in dungeons of spiritual stoicism all of my strengths and will have found few keys to freedom. These works addressed a desire for social inclusion by referencing a past or future time and space in which the inmate was or would be physically free. At the same time. Following the prologue. it is the story of a condemned inmate named Soulend. To say I haven’t developed a conscience would deduct from my being life and death. struck with awe at its living art. it suggests that love may overcome the boundaries outlined by powerful institutional categories such as “inmate” and “officer. In prisons of mental deviation. These poetic works drew together the recurring themes. And here…here a sun rises as doubt in a sinner’s prayer and sets like miracles in a faithless apprehension. without care of who wakes nor sleeps to its existence. and pains of incarceration: estrangement from loved ones. Kill Me. fear of dying imprisoned and alone. the play begins with Soulend staring out his window watching what appears to be his final sunset. Turning away from the window he studies the interior of his cell: How many broken hearts have stopped beating to such a cage of torment? All that is desire portrays freedom when it can—not to be caressed.Theory in Action genuinely amorous thoughts in poems. a female officer with whom Soulend has a love affair challenges his notion of self and masculinity. One such play explored the complex feelings many prisoners felt toward officers.

stories circulated about staff members who had “fallen” or “crossed over” to the side of the inmates. and perhaps. The play goes on to illustrate Soulend’s attempt to redefine the rigidity of this arrangement. the inmate was nearly always portrayed as manipulative and ungrateful for the woman’s feelings. was arrested. these rumors pointed toward the possibility of gaining emotional support from as well as sexual access to female staff members. Despite the “official” discourse that inmates are sexually manipulative. and the rigidity of roles imposed by the institution. at the same time. In staff versions of these stories. that women are emotionally unsuited to work as correctional officers in a prison dominated by men. And she let him take pictures. for inmates.” As a result of this indiscretion (or so the story went). but an introspective young man in need of companionship and love.Robert Lewis Clark for I am nothing in this place. the author alludes to his own perspectives on sexuality. the staff member lost her job. The play reinvents the concept of masculinity 78 . She was screwing him right in his cell. above me awaits chance. the playwright imagines the “rehumanization” of sexual relationships. “She fell in love with a con. She should have known that all the mail to inmates is opened…every officer in the place got to take a good long look at her nice ass. it redraws the boundaries of staff-inmate relationships. Similar rumors and stories constantly circulated among and between inmates and staff members alike. Conversely. nothing the unexplainable and the inexplainable self-explained. its images advise me of the future and its color whispers secrets of chance my dead soul could not remain unresponsive to. with the female staff member an inexperienced and idealistic accomplice. Soulend is a fictional character yet by imagining him into existence. and redemption. “One guard that I knew a long time ago crossed over to the inmates. and once the inmate was paroled he ignored her—the unstated moral of the story being that this “naïve” young woman was only a pleasant distraction for the inmate while he was incarcerated. The work suggests that writing is an unorthodox yet ultimately empowering means of both producing and performing masculinity. and then mailed them to him! They were doing some crazy shit in there. masculinity.” said Aaron Lake one afternoon. The act of writing describes a form of masculinity which contests the staff discourse that all inmates are criminals. While this play is fictional. but a human being who responds warmly to Soulend’s affection. But there. Soulend is not a manipulative psychopath. Cindery is not a faceless agent of state power.

staff seldom enforced certain rules. “[The handbook] basically takes away our manhood. and discipline than “ordinary citizens. Inmate Alan Rosa griped. For example. while nonuniformed staff members are to be addressed as either Mister or Miss. likewise.” we see that by performing masculinity.” and to immediately and unquestioningly obey staff orders.” Infractions against these rules are to be punished according to a complex hierarchy of punishments.” many inmates used vulgar language in the presence of guards (and vice-versa) without penalty. For example. inmates are to address uniformed staff by rank. Some possible penalties for various infractions included denial of phone calls. we can comprehend the tactics inmates used to negotiate these regulations. The Code of Penal Discipline states that inmates are held to the same standards of personal conduct as free citizens.Theory in Action within the prison. NECESSITY. All inmates are required to engage in “Good Conduct. they seldom followed them to the letter. Along with the Code of Penal Discipline. or imperils state or personal property. the guards are our parents. issued to every new inmate at Hillsford CI. appearance. while contesting the official classification of inmates as beings without remorse or empathy. the Inmate’s Handbook proscribes “behavior that disrupts the order of the facility.” Through analysis of the terms of this mandated “infantilization.” According to the Handbook. time spent in segregation. “The handbook tells us to act like children. while inmates were not permitted “make excessive noise or use profanity. apparently metaphorical world of Soulend’s prison. The Handbook outlined acceptable behavior during each part of a typical inmate’s routine. prescribes appropriate behaviors. 24 79 . the Inmate’s Handbook. Thusly masculinity can be viewed as a form of agency and power among inmates that is similar to rehabilitation. However. MASCULINITY. it was a reference as to permissible inmate actions. portraying them as children without the ability to take basic responsibility for themselves. and transfer to a “supermax” prison. and forms of social intercourse (State of Connecticut 2001). a perusal of the Handbook suggests that inmates are subject to closer monitoring.” while Golden Hamster noted. endangers the safety of any person. threatens security. AND NEGOTIATION Unlike the dreamlike. Many inmates complained that these regulations “infantilized” them. regimentation. Though inmates believed these rules to be strict. By investigating the ways in which inmates are expected to behave. inmates contested these regulations.

For example. Several teachers admitted that they regularly broke minor rules recorded in the staff handbook in order to do their jobs. Several officers admitted they could not carry out their duties in the facility without bending the official rules of interaction. small groups of inmates frequently gathered outside cells known for good TV reception. By accepting liberal interpretations of certain rules by staff. the handbook “officially” prohibited excessive noise. a light punching of the fists together. as was the highly “masculine” Prison Handshake. Their prohibition would have led to tension between inmates and staff. yet televisions were regularly set to high volume. Throughout the prison. betting rings were an important part of the inmate economy. for the informal privileges which their good conduct fostered made life in the prison more bearable. Thus. correctional officers and inmates often conversed chummily. and the knuckle-tapping “Respect” greeting of the West Indies. between staff and inmates. Most officers allowed important sporting events to be tuned on the large TV located in the central seating areas. Though gambling was officially prohibited. While staff usage of inmate lingo and physical gestures was officially forbidden by the Officer’s Handbook. especially during major sporting events such as the Superbowl. During recreational breaks. Through this arrangement. permissive officers generally overlooked minor infractions. a sophisticated hybrid between a regular grip. Despite the inflexibility suggested by the Handbook.Robert Lewis Clark A chasm between officially permitted and practical forms of interaction characterized staff interactions with inmates at Hillsford CI. For example. which in turned made their job easier. many officers allowed inmates to watch games in hopes that 80 . In some cases. the general attitude toward written rules was one of flexible exchange. High-fives and backslaps were common greetings. as long as no major ones were committed. inmates challenged many of the official rules daily. staff allowed the inmates increased spaces for agency. and by all accounts helped the inmates feel more like free men. officers would go to great lengths to “look the other way” if they believed certain leniencies would result in better behavior from inmates. a high-five. Miss Kingston explained that effective teaching required physical proximity to students—yet the Code of Penal Discipline forbade this closeness. when many cell doors were open. inmates tacitly promised good behavior in return. joking with each other and shouting mock insults. Therefore. many overlooked this rule in order to facilitate bonding with inmates. Even the most rebellious of inmates saw the value in this arrangement.

” said Santiago after describing the cuisine inmates created with the help of a stinger. Many were unwilling to suffer these limitations since they believed that a re81 . and many privileges would be taken away. One inmate specialized in converting less expensive black and white televisions to color. playing cards. but the guards had to be convinced to allow the congregation of inmates around rooms containing the buffet. All the food is cooked on stingers. in this case.” Every officer was aware that most inmates possessed these “contraband” devices. While well-behaved cell blocks tended to keep their Stingers. inmates and correctional officers tacitly agreed that congregation was permissible since it encouraged good behavior among the inmates during the months leading up to the holiday.” Many dishes could be created with a stinger. Most inmates believed their “contraband” stinger was indispensable. Watching a big game. staff leniency would also decline. inmates with electrical aptitude improved stock television antennas. Yet. also known as the “Chef. allowing his patrons to save on the higher price of a color unit. they were usually overlooked because the ability to prepare and warm their own food increased inmate morale. and smoking cigarettes were some of the masculine performances inmates were allowed in exchange for their good behavior.” alluded to the diverse menu he had prepared that week: cheese pizza. In addition. Inmate Jorge Santiago of Protective Custody. coffee and hot chocolate. assembled from common ingredients found in the cafeteria and at minimal cost in the commissary. Not only were the contraband ovens required. The assembly of inmates was usually forbidden as it was considered to be symptomatic of riot. presumably improving their behavior. and we have a big party. According to my observations. this bending of rules allowed inmates to feel more like “real men” despite the rules of the Inmate Handbook and the Code of Penal Justice. “Around Christmas and some other holidays a bunch of guys will pool their food resources. bagels with melted cream cheese. “We live pretty good in here. betting. numerous cells were home to a homemade warming oven known as a “stinger. Most inmates realized that if a block received a large number of tickets. However.” The guards’ cooperation was essential to this ritual. Though they were officially forbidden to do so. allowing better reception.Theory in Action this leniency would promote better morale and consequently better behavior among prisoners. Leniencies were also extended to inmate use of technology. steamed cakes topped with ground candy bars and ice cream. blocks with many disciplinary problems had theirs confiscated as “fire hazards.

“Don’t leave that anywhere or the inmates will probably make a hat out of it. they also believed inmates were inventive in transforming social relationships into forms they could exploit. I would be watched closely. then you would probably be willing to bring in contraband. conduct my research. Principal Lake told me to avoid bringing anything into the prison for an inmate. Anthropologist Michael Herzfeld (1985:25) suggests that in Crete.” Gutmann (1997:399) suggests that in this context cunning. to provide them only with specific educational services. which I suggest is analogous to the inmates’ “cleverness. Principal Lake told me that we were going to the cell blocks in order to meet some inmates.” Just as staff believed inmates were clever at finding innovative uses for mundane objects. inmate conceptualizations of manipulation suggest possibilities for sovereign spaces potentializing masculine performance. In order to preempt staff suspicion. they say. This criminological perspective held manipulation to be incompatible with rehabilitation. On the first day of my fieldwork. For officers believed that if you were willing to bring even seemingly innocuous items into the prison. analogous to womanhood in opposition to official-male forms of wisdom and intelligence.25 Hegemonic masculinity at Hillsford CI suggested that men should ma26 nipulate and use others through clever ruses and “social engineering.” he said. However.” This exchange was the beginning of my education in what the staff of Hillsford CI referred to as the “cleverness” of inmates.” This manipulation ranged from benign to malignant in both intent and execution. A teacher later informed me of the omnipresent danger of manipulation by inmates: “It begins with small things. Gesturing to my leather briefcase he said. As we have seen. “low” cunning (poniria) is “at once an emblematic attribute of manhood and…source of aggressive pride. They’re damned clever. “First they want you to mail a letter for them. institutional discourses of criminality. maybe to their lawyer. The postal service in here is too slow. described in books such as Games Criminals Play. Lake told me to keep my relationships with inmates professional.Robert Lewis Clark duction in behavioral privileges removed their ability to work and play “as men.” was characterized “a certain type of manhood. and resist closer ties. cast all inmate attempts at manipulation in a negative light. you know. and I need to file my appeal by Friday.” MANIPULATION AND MASCULINITY On my first day at the prison. Then 82 . As a newcomer.

they want you to bring them some drugs. and above all.” Later in my fieldwork. Staff members were told to remain vigilant for signs of manipulation. Inmates were categorically assumed to be liars and con men. They are criminals. You can do something for them. so don’t trust them too much. Captain Watson headed the Protective Custody unit. Remember you’ve got to show that you’re hard right away. A tall. “First. Rob. so much correctional training was focused upon circumventing or stopping their presumed attempts at manipulation.” RC: “I’m glad I asked. Remember that they’re all criminals and con men. and then asked him if I was allowed to give a pencil to an inmate. he asked me if I could obtain an additional pencil for him. Watson took me aside and said. CW: “Well. At the academy. you are a new guy here and represent a new person that they can take advantage of.” The correctional academy indoctrinated future officers in a discourse of criminality which attributed “criminal” motivations to all inmates. 83 . During my first day in the block. I carried out all of my research in Protective Custody under his supervision. or else they’re going to try to take advantage of you. staff were told never to trust an inmate. Finally.Theory in Action they want you to get them some stamps. The captain sat at his desk conversing with another officer. “I’ll see what I can do” was my reply. nor to give an inmate anything he requested. even though they may present themselves as being friendly and nice. Don’t take anything in or out. I waited for a pause in the conversation. One of the first officers I met warned me about manipulation. never approach closer than six feet to an inmate. and to be suspicious of all inmate behavior. And the price is not always taken in bills. that goes back to what we talked about on day one. At the conclusion of our lesson. I was working with an inmate who wanted to improve his writing skills. I walked to the captain’s office. “Well. lean figure with a military bearing. everybody has got their price. That’s how they see it. Then they want you to get their glasses fixed. since the eraser on his pencil was heavily worn. never to bring anything into the prison for an inmate. I asked inmate Jack Regis why staff members seemed to be so worried about the possibility of manipulation. always remember that the guys you are going to meet are criminals.” The captain would remind me of these words a few days later.

they like the sense of power it brings. my initial response was to reject all further requests for items. and calculators. When she returned the next day with the glasses. It makes them feel like a man. it redefined social relationships. staff did not need to manipulate others because the authority of their positions was backed by the coercive power of the state. I chose a path of selective acquiescence to these demands if they did not seem too exploitative. Manipulation was as much a tool for the socially ostracized as a means of personal gain. rulers. Since Lake had given me permission to offer these items to my students. they go to a prison with less rules and better living. I fell victim to manipulation by several inmates during my first few months of fieldwork. I freely distributed them to inmates who promised to use them. After further consideration. one well-meaning correctional officer was reputed to have carried out an inmate’s request to have his eyeglasses repaired outside the facility. Realistically. but the state police arrested her on the spot. I caught onto the ruse after spotting several of the notebooks I had handed out in the hands of different inmates. and that they were being exchanged for other goods.” Despite warnings from both staff and inmates. Socially skilled inmates used language. skillful manipulation was often the only way to counter or fight back against tyrannical or abusive staff. Some inmates just like to bust people. pens. I was angry about this at first. The games don’t change. then when they bring them in they threaten to rat them out unless the officer levers their level reduction. From their point of view. Once they get the drop. not only did she lose her job. They’ll ask the officer to bring drugs in and offer to have their boy on the street pay them some huge amount. leveling the playing field between actors. Acquiescence to these demands could bring dismissal or even criminal charges. At the academy. Institutional discourses of criminality held that any form of manipulation was antithetical to the aims of custody and rehabilitation. staff members were taught that inmates got perverse pleasure from manipulating them. Through deeper analysis. Maybe he’ll bust the cop anyway. believing that I had been duped. we see that what the staff called manipulation was also another performance of masculinity. From the perspective of inmates. friendship (pretended or 84 . only the players. The inmate promptly informed the shift supervisor of her complicity.Robert Lewis Clark For instance. I later learned that these objects had value in the underground bartering economy. staff had many reasons to be suspicious of inmates’ demands for both objects and favors. some inmates will set up correctional officers to blackmail 27 them and get a level drop. pencils. For example. Inmates often asked me for school supplies such as notebooks.

to lock everything up. the officers inmates held in high esteem were those who were known to stand up for the rights of inmates.Theory in Action real). but actually I wasn’t the one who reported it. “Real men” could “get over” on staff. They’re not allowed to have masking tape.” I sheepishly admitted. the next one would have been larger as the perpetrator became more daring. It did. or his propensity to “let things slide.” According to the other teachers. Earp. this story was an example of the “cleverness” of inmates when it came to larceny. It made them afraid of me. Earp said few inmates thereafter tested his tolerance for theft. For example. the business skills teacher.” “You always have to be careful in this place. Earp set a conversational trap. Often. however.” he said. They thought I had written the guy up. We eventually figured out who stole it. work in my favor because it was one of the first weeks I was here that this happened. almost ruthless face to inmates in order to counteract their attempts at manipulation: Mr. because what else might he be hiding if he stole something like that?” The class came to an end. if the inmate had gotten away with the theft. Then the officers searched his cell. According to the official lore of manipulation. instructed me on the need to present an unyielding. “They thought I was a real hardass at first because of the masking tape incident. someone else did. and when we went up to his cell he just handed it over. “One of the inmates stole some masking tape from the classroom.” “Really?” I innocently replied. He glared at me for missing the sarcastic tone of his voice. some inmates engaged in a kind of generalized reciprocity with guards. performing “no strings attached” favors for those they respected or liked. “Save your documents and get ready to go. despite the risk of being perceived as an “inmate 85 . relations between inmates and staff were much more complex and mutual than staff indoctrination and criminological texts acknowledged.” he told the students. Thus “manipulation” of staff was an important “masculine” action. and conversational dexterity to renegotiate the boundaries of relationships in ways which sidestepped and redefined authority structures. yet Earp’s speedy and decisive “response” ended the inmate’s attempt to steal from his classroom. “Well.” Mr. During one of my first days in the prison. “That’s true. and I had to look all over to make sure I hadn’t just misplaced it. bending them to their will through craft and cleverness. Despite fears of manipulation. Mr. you know. wouldn’t you if you lived in a five by six room?” “Well. “The inmates here like school.

We are supposed to get at least a half cup of vegetables with every meal. Seven! I went up to the officer (Gleason) and complained. therefore they respected him. Jack Gleason. The complex social performance referred to as “manipulation” consisted of a dynamic interplay between intent. performance. In fact I think everyone who works here hates us. it was perhaps even more unusual since Gleason was a correctional union steward who was known as a “hardass. Golden Hamster described his high esteem for this officer’s professional behavior: “Most of the officers in Protective Custody don’t give a shit about us. saying that these guys’ food is cold and there’s not enough of it. several inmates told me that Gleason was worthy of this rare honor. many inmates living in Protective Custody—reputed throughout the rest of the prison to consist entirely of “snitches and homosexuals”—believed that members of the kitchen staff were biased against them. as some of his peers might view this as “coddling” the inmates. Several times. I don’t like the officers. wellheated meals be brought up from the kitchen. But through his actions. An oft-repeated rumor among these inmates was that kitchen staff left their meals out for long periods so that they grew cold. what kind of shit are you trying to pull over on these guys?!” To many inmates this behavior made the officer a “real man” since he assertively stood up for their rights. The portions are too small. but I’ve at least got to respect this guy—he got on the phone with the kitchen and complained. he boisterously insisted that additional. The other day we had peas and I got exactly seven peas. Now. Portions were often of substandard size.” union stewards were reputedly the strictest of all officers. Inmates professed they would protect officers they respected in the event of a riot. One correctional officer. their “official” suspicion did not reveal the complex subtleties of inmate/staff relationships. This attribution of respect was a direct result of this staff members’ concern for the well-being of the inmates. One day. They think we are a bunch of child molesters and rapists. This was uncommon behavior for an officer. Accord86 . While staff feared manipulation by inmates. For example.Robert Lewis Clark lover” by other staff. The kitchen staff sends up lukewarm food. frequently—and loudly— argued with the kitchen staff over the temperature and portioning of these meals. the inmates understood that Gleason at least respected their rights. and execution.

whether they were in for three years. THE FALL OF CASH “Inmates should stop whining. ultimately resulting in the loss of his privileged status within both institutional and inmate hierarchies. I think he finally snapped and his true colors are coming out.” read the headline of the newspaper article. asking for sentence modifications or appeals.Theory in Action ing to my conversations with inmates. her eyes were wide and her face was flushed. I did not socialize much in prison. She looked frightened. and I am writing to those who are committing crimes and destined to wind up behind bars. Though the official. For the last few weeks. in practice. They wrote to judges. Miss Kingston approached me around lunchtime. or life. Correctional officers such as Jack Gleason were not oblivious to the complex give and take of staff/inmate relationships.” She reported having trouble with him for several months. and complained about prison conditions—the food. or 10. The people I did socialize or room with. “Cash just went off on me in class. They cried themselves to sleep at night when they were handed a 25-year sentence. One hot summer day. this tendency eroded his credibility. always complained about their time. he had been repeatedly asking her if she was happy with his services. In conjunction with other factors. many Hillsford CI inmates considered responsibility for one’s own actions as paramount to rehabilitation and thusly empowerment. Near the conclusion of my fieldwork. administrative ideology of inmate “cleverness” suggested that inmates were by nature untrustworthy. and had confided in me that his writing and mathematical skills were so limited that she had to tutor him just so he could help her students. part of whose story I have recounted earlier in this work. because he felt they were growing apart. relationships between inmates and guards were complex strategic and tactical engagements. Reggie Cash. and so on. Many inmates also believed this to be a defining characteristic of masculinity.” –Fieldnotes As the above quote illustrates. whether for rape or other crimes. or 25. “I was released from Hillsford Correctional Institution on August 22. fell into the social trap of loudly calling out those who he thought were conspiring against him. medical care. manipulation was an attempt to make life in the prison more comfortable and tolerable. he said he didn’t want there to be any distance between them. Pa87 .

“That book of his! He claims he wrote it. I’m starting to feel very uncomfortable with him. It’s really piss88 . Miss Kingston said that she had been teaching a class in which a group of Hispanic inmates often picked on a certain white male.” Kingston told me.” Meanwhile. Cash’s sphere of influence was shrinking. yet Kingston said that Cash had joined in on the torment. and where did it come from. and he then presented it to Lake as if it were his own production. when as my assistant. representative sample: a few days ago he asked me to make a flyer about the availability of night school.” he confided to me. Then. is starting to drive me nuts. and why was he joining in making fun of this guy. but he doesn’t see it that way—he thinks we’re out to steal his money—he just takes our help for granted. he somehow arranged to get into the blocks and hang them up. were beginning to show.” Apparently in the frame of mind to discredit Cash completely. Cash’s most loyal ally among the teaching staff. spoke ominously of his impending transfer to another facility. More than once I’ve had to talk to him about it. She began to see his insistence as symptomatic of his criminality. Principal Lake. who had custodial responsibility for the school area. ‘When did you notice the TENSION in here?’ he hissed through his big teeth. but in fact it’s all these people he’s asked to help him that should be getting half the credit. “He is always interrogating the status of our relationship and doesn’t realize that in itself is pushing me away. He just lets Cash wander around to his little heart’s content. he was supposed to be an example to everyone? Cash turned on me. Another small. his gold teeth sticking out. “He can’t come in here and just walk around however he pleases. Cash’s constant movement and networking in the school area were beginning to irritate Officer Reeve. she had grown increasingly tired of his developing insecurity. He looked very angry and I was scared. Her doubts about his case grew along with her personal dislike for him: “How is it possible that he accidentally shot that girl between the eyes? He just happened to have perfect aim. and told Cash that there was all this tension in my classroom. The day on which Cash’s influence in the school came to an end. I made it up on the computer.” which he always tried to disguise with expansive and idealistic language. even when he was drunk?” On a similar note. Miss Cara added to the list of complaints: “Cash. Kingston continued to relate the various ways he had aggravated her in recent weeks. always walking around and appearing in my doorway. The principal isn’t doing shit about all this.Robert Lewis Clark tient with him at first. I decided that I didn’t want him to be in my classroom anymore. “I had reached my limit. This man had helped Cash edit his book. giving the man a hard time and calling him a “cracker. his “true colors.

he seemed to be more preoccupied with finding a book agent than in keeping his job: he had called a well known publisher of “street” novels and had somehow managed to speak personally with the owner of the publishing house. and I think he knows that as well. I volunteered to speak to him about his behavior and to try to help him work out his relationship with Kingston. he exclaimed. Officer Reeve repeatedly meandered by. I don’t really know if he’s ready to get out there after all. and I’d like if you were around to talk with him later. All three of them stood conversing there for ten minutes. I suggested to Cash that he apologize to Kingston about his behavior.” Since I was on friendly terms with Cash. listening to our conversation. still standing outside the classroom. though now he spoke with Kingston. Instantly. I realized my mistake in putting him on the defensive. Cash had his arm up on one wall and Kingston stood in front of him. “Well. her small shape dwarfed by his sturdy shape. too. “Jealous of her? What do I have to be jealous about?” We spoke for a few more minutes and he began to calm down. Kingston opened the door several times and checked on us. apparently straining his ears to hear what was being said. He mentioned to her that his book still needed to be edited. Cash motioned to me that he 89 .” she replied. I spoke to Cash about the impending situation with Miss Kingston. “Well. Several times I tried to warn him about Kingston’s perceptions of his behavior. As they finished. As we spoke. He looked away as if he didn’t wish to be there at the moment. Even now. his acting up today can be looked at as the final straw.” In the early afternoon. From there I could see Cash. half to Reilly and half to herself. Reeve stood by closely. are you going to be around later? I think I’m going to let him go today. baby. and she had reassured him.” He told me she had sounded inviting and that he wanted to get to know her better. Cash had recovered his prayer shawl from the classroom and it lay draped over his shoulder. he’s always in my face because he’s angry about Cash’s wandering—the man can’t seem to make a decision for himself.” she had replied. Officer Ned Reilly.” “I don’t know. “For all this stuff he’s got about a sentence modification. you have got to confront him about this. “Don’t worry. go ahead and try. And Earp. but don’t expect too much.Theory in Action ing Reeve off. this might be your window of opportunity if you want to get rid of Cash. After I left him. I returned to the teacher’s lounge. Indignantly. hands on her hips. and mentioned that she believed he was a bit jealous of her since she was the teacher while he was an assistant. Cash said he would attempt an apology. chimed in as we discussed it. if I accept your book for publishing we’ll take care of that. Rob.

Principal Lake moved to another facility. others told me he seldom left his block anymore. and being willing to tell anyone what they wanted to hear in order to further his own agenda. This conflicted with prevailing conceptions of masculinity. also seemed to point to weakness—an inability to remain consistent from one context to another. to normalize and thusly “rehumanize” the living state of exception in which they subsisted. Another factor weighed against Cash: he was perceived as “institutionalized.Robert Lewis Clark was going back to his block.” as having become one with the institution's ideologies and practices. These factors conspired to bring about Cash’s loss of respect and influence within the prison. these competing masculinities were also subject to constant negotiation. leaving Cash friendless in the school. In the eyes of others. took the aid of others for granted. sexual orientation. they assisted inmates in evading and reordering classifications of criminality. Cash's social malleability. As I went back to the office to speak with Lake. I have shown the ways in which Hillsford CI inmates performed various masculinities. This paper has thusly examined how masculinity at Hillsford CI was conceived as a form of empowerment performed through carefully selected actions and behaviors. Within the prison. These pathways included displays of physical prowess. and appeared to put his own needs before those of others. transfigurative writing. Upkeep of a “masculine” identity at Hillsford CI was subject to continual challenge. Inventing and performing alternative ways of “being 90 . and criminality. When I visited him weeks later. Performing redemptive masculinity was another means by which inmates transformed their inclusive exclusion from society. formerly his base of power. as a source of empowerment. multiple narratives of masculinity intermingled. inmates needed to convince others of their sincere desire for redemption. Cash’s downfall progressed. In coming weeks. the exchange of good behavior for permissiveness from staff. yet the positions were already filled by gang members. In order to be viewed as rehabilitated. and manipulation. Cash told me that he was holding out for a tierman position in his block. Cash had broken three of the cardinal rules of redemption: he downplayed the seriousness of his crime. while itself an adaptive strategy. CONCLUSION In this paper. Juxtaposing and reinterpreting media and popular stereotypes of race. I found that he had isolated himself in his cell. he waved forlornly to me.

” the inmates of Hillsford CI re-envisioned their confinement and the possibilities for change. lest it be questioned or subverted by others. Thus. they could at least be dedicated to their work. Between these descriptive categories lie a number of qualities that the inmates of Hillsford CI looked upon as masculine. empowering. The inmates of Hillsford CI were outlaws.Theory in Action a man” were viewed as intrinsic aspects of rehabilitation. we are better situated as scholars to make policy rec91 . inequalities. Instead of accepting popular and institutional narratives of masculinity wholesale. included in civil society as its supposed criminal antithesis. ideologies. If they could not be physically intimate with women. inmates manufactured ideologies of masculine empowerment aimed at rehabilitation and social atonement. These attempts to relocate the terms of their confinement within a state of transformation points to a willingness to create and subscribe to the reformative narratives that also constituted redemptive masculinity. As a form of empowerment. and practices” central both to studies of masculinity and to processes of social reclassification such as rehabilitation (Gutmann 1997:404). By viewing themselves as “imprisoned men. The performance of masculinity thusly paralleled rehabilitation as a sovereign project in that it empowered inmates to perform roles that were symbolically constitutive of hegemonic masculinity in “outside” society. and the daily needs of survival in America’s prison industrial complex. redemptive masculinity was constantly guarded and continually performed. Like rehabilitation. and ambiguities of gender relations. redemptive masculinity was a sovereign performance within the living state of exception embodied by the contemporary American prison. they could rise higher in the inmate hierarchy. By understanding the means by which prison inmates infuse their masculine performances with elements of international media. If they could not provide for a family. This symbolic recreation of external masculinities provided Hillsford inmates with a means of recreating their identities outside at the same time as they envisioned their inclusion in external society. they were means by which inmates challenged their exclusion from society and their status as criminals and outlaws. rather than solely survival within the hierarchies of prison. external and prison culture. If they could not hold down a job outside. They sought engagement with the external society on their own terms. and like rehabilitation.” instead of “incarcerated criminals. they could write poetry and prose about them. The seizure of sovereign spaces and consequent performance of masculinities on their own terms suggests a reshuffling of this exclusion. their “restructuring of male roles” became emblematic of the “contradictions.

ct. P. David 1990 The Social Structures of the Economy. London: Lawrence and Wishart. R. 84:2-31. Abingdon: Polity.1146/annurev.1987. doi:10.385 Herdt. and if such attempts at education and rehabilitation are met with more support and encouragement and less derision and stigma both within the institutional setting and in public society. G. Manhood in the Making: Cultural Concepts of Masculinity. Connecticut Department of Correction “Connecticut Department of Correction Homepage. 1987 1980 2007 2006 Connell.asp?a=1499&q=265398 “Re-Entry Model Statistics. D.asp Masculinities. studies such as this suggest that many prison inmates are willing to attempt self-reform if given the proper tools.gov/doc/site/default. 1990 Dwyer.” In Annual Review of Anthropology.1. 2005 1990 Brandes.26.1990.” Princeton. “La domination masculine.gov/doc/cwp/view. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.” Retrieved electronically on 10/30/2007 from http://www. New Haven: Yale University Press. Gutmann. Quintin Hoare and Geoffrey Nowell Smith. eds & trans. Gramsci. 2005 Cowan. New York: Columbia University Press.” In Women’s Studies 13:357-72.1080/00497878.” Actes de la Recherche en Sciences Sociales.2947 “Sex roles and anthropological research in rural Andalusia. Forth Worth: Holt.9978676 Metaphors of Masculinity: Sex and Status in Andalusian Folklore.3406/arss. Rhinehart & Winston. doi:10. Images and Self-Images: Male and Female in Morocco.K. J. “Dance and the Body Politic in Northern Greece.Robert Lewis Clark ommendations to lawmakers as well as appeals to the general public which may bolster the success rates of prison based rehabilitative programming. Antonio 1971 Selections from the Prison Notebooks of Antonio Gramsci.” PDF document retrieved electronically on 10/21/2007 from http://www. Berkeley: University of California Press. Matthew C. W. 26:385-409. Despite the well documented anti-rehabilitative slant of the US Justice System. 1987 The Sambia: Ritual and Gender in New Guinea. 92 .anthro. S. 1997 “Trafficking in Men: The Anthropology of Masculinity. 1978 Gilmore. doi:10.ct. REFERENCES Bourdieu. NJ: Princeton University Press.

Masculinity and rehabilitation were seen as irreconcilably at odds by many. but not all. Hartford: Department of Correction. Tiger. eds 1991 Con tested Identities: Gender and Kinship in Modern Greece. 1982 Marshall. addressed this lacuna by focusing on rehabilitation as a part of the everyday lives of inmates. James W. “Introduction. Papataxiarchis. of the inmates I interviewed.. Increased knowledge of how both these factors affect the everyday lives of prisoners will enable scholars to make improved recommendations to 93 . Numerous projects in the past and present have focused on “what works in rehabilitation.M. gender. Weekend Warriors: Alcoholism in a Micronesian Culture. E. New York: Random House.” mainly by addressing statistics. 1997 The Cassowary’s Revenge: The Life and Death of Masculinity in a New Guinea Society. Staples. Poetics of Manhood: Contest and Identity in a Cretan Mountain Vil lage. Rituals of Manhood: Male Initiation in Papua New Guinea. 1993 Masculinities and Crime: Critique and Reconceptualization of Theory.Theory in Action 1982 Herzfeld. Robert 1982 Black Masculinity: The Black Man’s Role in American Society. ed. D. State of Connecticut 2001 Inmate Handbook. 1991 “Friends of the heart: male commensal solidarity. and Papataxiarsis. M. This paper is an attempt to fill that gulf by addressing the ways that some inmates pursued both a masculine identity and rehabilitation simultaneously. Palo Alto: Mayfield. M. Princeton: Princeton University Press. programs. Male and Female: A Study of the Sexes in a Changing World. Lionel 1984 Men in Groups. Princeton: Princeton University Press. 1979 Meade. 1985 Keesing. Messerschmidt. New York: Morrow.” In Herdt. R. M. and recidivism rates.. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. P. San Francisco: Black Scholar Press. Berkeley: University of California Press. which was carried out from 2001-2004. E. Tuzin. and kinship in Aegean Greece” in Loizos. G. END NOTES 1 The following paper stems for a three year ethnographic research project I conducted within a maximum security prison located in semi-rural Connecticut. Berkeley: University of California Press.F. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield. 1975 Rituals of Manhood: Male Initiation in Papua New Guinea. My field project.

these “guardian” friendships and alliances were among any inmate’s most valued possessions. Critics have suggested that the term “tests of manhood” points to gender inequality. Credit to Golden Hamster. Matthew Gutmann (1997). For example. and in Protective Custody several inmates were cousins and two were brothers. personal communication. David Gilmore (1990:6) suggests that tests of manhood are important aspects of the belief that women are born as women but men must be manufactured by other men. the inmates used these as money. Herdt 1987. 6/2002. Dorobo D’Angelo.” he added that “selling prayer oil gives me something to do and keeps my business skills sharp. 3/2002. personal communication. 94 . 8 “Friday prayer” in the Islamic faith. Doc was related to one of the administrative assistants. cites examples of the durability of this bias (such as Dwyer 1978. it is usually held just after noon. From then on. however. It was a relatively simple matter for a powerful inmate to “punk” a weaker merchant by refusing to pay. he immediately lost most of the block’s respect. it also represented a major opportunity for message and commodity exchange. while at the same time symbolically disengaging the young male from women and children. 5 “Soups” were a single-serving package of dried ramen noodles. If the merchant tolerated this insult. because soups are a really silly form of money. including ethnographers who have studied gendered rites of passage. or stealing something of greater value from him.” 10 Aaron Lake. 7 A surprising number of inmates and even staff at the facility were biologically related to each other. was another matter. and for critical feedback on my understanding of zones of sovereignty at Hillsford CI. it represented the single largest gathering of Muslim inmates during the week. that seated stereotypes of gender have influenced researchers. and Jamison Trent for information on these special relationships. These actions did not necessarily have to be carried out by the merchant himself. Lacking cigarettes. Two of Reggie Cash’s brothers were incarcerated in the facility. always estimating the value of goods and services on the number of soups they were worth. 6 Based on my observations. and Meade 1975). 11 Chaplain Mark Pannone. suggesting that Bourdieu (1990:103) best summarizes it in his statement that “among all forms of essentialism [sexism] is undoubtedly the most difficult to uproot. Several inmates commented that this was an attempt by the institution to foster divisiveness between inmates. as well as the exclusive ability of men to produce other men in this society. 9 While Dorobo said the rewards were “not that great. for who should be the one to post the fifth picture? 4 Collecting these debts.” 3 Curiously. Since many inmates gathered for Juma. cellmates were allowed to post no more than five family pictures between them. his patrons would become increasingly recalcitrant until he “proved” himself by either physically attacking a non-payer. At Hillsford. Keesing argues that rites of masculine passage dramatize the change in status an initiate undergoes. Short prayers were followed by a sermon during which the imam taught moral lessons or spoke about the relevance of current events to Islam. but it had to be clear that the retaliatory physical confrontation or theft was a result of the debtor’s refusal or inability to pay. 2 Keesing (in Herdt 1982) emphasizes the creation (rather than growth) of boys in Amazonia.Robert Lewis Clark policymakers and arguably influence public sentiment on the potential for rehabilitation in curbing crime rates.

Jan. uninterested in sexual conquest. At the same time. argues Connell. history. with its central ideas coming from Freudian theory. and so forth.” (Papataxiarchis 1991) as well as male enclaves such as secret houses. CA). Tuzin 1997). 95 12 . This conception presupposes the belief in a universal form of masculinity external to the many selves which comprise society. but it is not likely to lead to a science worth having. and coffeehouses (Brandes 1987. 17 Connell suggests three movements toward a science of masculinity in the course of the 20th century. defining ‘masculinity’ as the character of anyone who possessed a penis. and sociology (Connell 2005:6-8). bars. 13 Interview with City on a Hill Press (Santa Cruz. not all possess the concept of “masculinity. The second is based in social psychology and centered on the popular concept of the sex role. 15 Matthew Gutmann suggests that biological reductionism of masculinity to a set of “innate drives” rooted in masculine physiology has been a recurring shortcoming in the literature of masculinity.” The third is that “some men are inherently or by ascription considered “more manly” than other men. 16 According to Gutmann (1997). owing to “a process with biological roots connected…to the establishment of alliances necessary for group defense and hunting” (Tiger 1984: 135). At the same time he suggests that “women” have existed as a category while “men” are “either ignored or considered so much the norm that a separate inventory is unnecessary. In that sense. Cowan 1990. The first is “anything men think and do. The third involves recent developments in anthropology. However. it is built on the conception of individuality that developed in early-modern Europe with the growth of colonial empires and capitalist economic relations. 14 In Men in Groups (1984). Tiger attempted to link this “drive” with men’s allegedly inherent. W. R. Herzfeld 1985. hardly able to kick a football. One is based on the clinical knowledge acquired by therapists. Gutmann cites the need for anthropology to examine “men as men” rather than simply involving “men talking to men about men. 21. anthropology has to date paid much attention to how men perform their own and others’ manhood. It is unmanageably vague: what action of any man in the world would not be an instance of masculinity?” (Connell 2005:43). The last considers masculinity to be “anything that women are not” (Gutmann 1997:385-386).” Gutmann distinguishes four distinct ways that anthropologists have used and defined the concept of masculinity.Theory in Action Men’s spaces and exclusivity have been studied in terms of “commensal solidarity. conciliatory rather than dominating. biological need to cooperate and show solidarity with one another. 1993.” The second is that “masculinity is anything men think and do to be men.” (Connell 2005:67). Marshall 1979. Connell cautions against this superficially “scientific” reduction of masculinity to biological identity: “We could pursue a science of men. That is to say an unmasculine person would behave differently: being peaceable rather than violent. anthropologist Lionel Tiger coined the phrase “male bonding” to describe situations in which men needed to exist together and exclude females. a Y chromosome and a certain supply of testosterone…This solves the logical problem.” “In its modern usage the term assumes that one’s behavior results from the type of person one is. Connell cautions us that we should be careful with the term “masculinity” itself. He argues that while all societies take cultural account of gender. ethnographers have historically “grown” their native men: “Ethnographers’ claims to discovering exotic (or ubiquitous) masculinity in the far reaches of the globe have always rested on the central contributions of anthropologists themselves in the creation of categories of maleness and its opposites in diverse cultural milieus.” Gutmann thusly seeks to locate masculinity between the performative modes through which anthropologists have labeled various qualities and characterizations masculine (Gutmann 1997).

23 Inmates also occasionally passed love notes to favored teachers.’” The “freedom” produced by instruments of the ruling class thus molds the “free” subject to the needs of an economic base. 21 Further supporting this point. hegemony refers to the means by which a group lays claim to and maintains a principal position in social life. or brought to the attention of the administration. These notes were ignored. “So the top levels of business. “the continuous development of the economic apparatus of production” (Gramsci 1971:242). addressed personally. Staples argues that high levels of violence among African-American men in the United States can be best understood through the changing location of the black labor force in American capitalism and the violent means used to contain it.” “girlfriends. James Messerschmidt’s Masculinities and Crime (1993) shows how white-collar and street crimes frame the construction of classspecific masculinities. the military and government provide a fairly convincing corporate display of masculinity…It is the successful claim to authority. Many in96 18 . Curiously.” and “tree humpers. turning necessity and coercion into ‘freedom. while at the same time they expressed attitudes and modes of interaction which were considered to be female. their institutional job. which guarantees (or is taken to guarantee) the dominant position of men and the subordination of women” (Connell 2005:77). that is the mark of hegemony (though violence often underpins or supports authority)” (Connell 2005:77. Robert Staples’ Black Masculinity (1982) relates the social situation of black men in America to colonialism. It is a process and a means by which “educative pressure [is] applied to single individuals so as to obtain their consent and their collaboration.” “wives. Gramsci argues that the State—which he suggests equates to the ruling class (Gramsci 1971:16)—uses “a multitude of other so-called private initiatives and activities toward the same end—initiatives and activities which form the apparatus of the political and cultural hegemony of the ruling classes” (Gramsci 1971:258).” “sweet meats.” all of whom existed in bodies which were anatomically male. Thus “marginalization” refers to the relationships between masculinities in dominant and subordinated classes or ethnic groups. called “punks. Connell cites Robert Staples’ discussion of “internal colonialism” in Black Masculinity (1982). and more commonly. 22 Many inmates believed certain attributes were inherently masculine or feminine and applied gender labels accordingly. more than direct violence. Thus there were the “feminine” prisoners. One of the most important functions of a State is “to raise the great mass of the population to a particular cultural and moral level. their crime. various researchers have suggested how different hierarchies of masculinities relate to issues of class and race. “massive unemployment and urban poverty now interact with institutional racism in the shaping of black masculinity” (Connell 2005:80). According to Connell. since the dominance of any group’s definition of masculinity may be contested by other groups.” “snitches.” “fags. few descriptive labels were applied to those whose masculinity was thought to be beyond question (aka “real men”). other than those associated with gang affiliation. He argues that hegemony is only likely to be established if there is a correspondence between cultural ideal and institutional power. and hence to the interests of the ruling class” (Gramsci 1971:258). and is always relative to the authorization of the hegemonic masculinity of the dominant group.Robert Lewis Clark In a similar vein. 19 For Gramsci. According to Connell’s analysis of this work. hegemony is thusly a “historically mobile” relation. a level (or type) which corresponds to the needs of the productive forces for development. 20 Connell further defines hegemonic masculinity as the “configuration of gender practice which embodies the currently accepted answer to the problem of the legitimacy of the patriarchy. emphasis author’s).

A level drop qualified an inmate for transfer to a lower-security prison and improved living conditions. Failure to do either was grounds for punishment.” 26 The notion that relationships between people can be “engineered” to work in much the same way that machine parts are made to articulate (Golden Hamster. For example. 5/2003). You know. 97 . but you should probably stay away from him anyway. I don’t think he’s from your university. 27 A level drop meant that the inmate was considered a lower security risk.Theory in Action mates considered writing love letters to female staff to be an important way to assert oneself as a man. Lack of a pass was also grounds for disciplinary action (Department of Correction 2001:7). the handbook specified that identification cards were to be worn whenever an inmate was outside of his housing unit and the inmate uniform had to be worn properly. colleagues and all. 25 Despite the wisdom of this advice. “There’s a professor in here for something. Lake’s caution occasionally rose to levels seeming to border on paranoia: “Oh.” he added to his warnings. A pass had to be obtained in order to move about within the prison. except during the mass movements which took place during meals or work. or else people might think something’s up between you. 24 Many other rules and penalties existed. personal communication. since it suggested that one retained his heterosexual orientation.

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SUNY-Canton Assistant Editors Corey Dolgon. University of Connecticut Book Review Editors Eric Buck. Stonehill College Deric Shannon.Editor-in-Chief John Asimakopoulos. Sociatecture Eva-Maria Swidler. II Jesus Lopez Pelaez Jose Palafox Michael Parenti Eri Park Emma Pérez Clayton Pierce Deric Shannon Jeffrey Shantz Stephen Sheehi Kyung Ja (Sindy) Shin Stevphen Shukaitis Eva-Maria Swidler Caroline Tauxe Bill Templer Sviatoslav Voloshin Ali Shehzad Zaidi . Villanova University Founding Editor John Asimakopoulos. CUNY-Bronx Editor Ali Shehzad Zaidi. CUNY-Bronx Editorial Collective William Armaline John Asimakopoulos Liat Ben-Moshe Steve Best Marc Bousquet Eric Buck Graham Cassano Vanny Chang Ward Churchill Jay Corwin Abraham DeLeon Corey Dolgon Luis Fernandez Ben Frymer Victoria Fontan Carol Gigliotti Richard Gilman-Opalsky Uri Gordon Richard Van Heertum Joy James Patrrice Jones Paul Jonker Caroline Kaltefleiter Lisa Kemmerer Ruth Kinna Elsa Karen Márquez-Aponte Mechthild Nagel Anthony Nocella.

$16. Port Townsend. K. by O’Hara. Oneworld Publications.CONTENTS Vol. and Real Men: Negotiations of Masculinity and Rehabilitation Among Prison Inmates Robert Lewis Clark Book Review: The Spy in the Coffee Machine: The End of Privacy As We Know It. and Shadbolt. 3. No. and Defensive Violence: Lessons for the Working-Class Today John Asimakopoulos Punks. ISBN 978-1851685545 Cristina Jönsson July 2010 21 42 63 98 .95 (paper). 294. 3 1 7 Introduction: Imagining America Corey Dolgon Notes From Ground Zero: Budgetary Crises and Academic Freedom at the University of Colorado Margaret D. Direct Action. LeCompte and Ken Bonetti Reviving the Tribe: Friendship and Social Relations in the Work and Play of Eric Rofes Benjamin Shepard The Civil Rights-Black Power Era. Pp. N. Snitches. 2008.

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a Ph. labor movement.” --Kathleen Odell Korgen. President. and great knowledge about folksongs.edu. of Louisville Labor-Management Center “Corey’s wonderful voice. I never knew there were songs about them. From union retirees to active union members. abundant energy. from academics to management.” --Cheryl Johnson.” --John Ralston.com . all received a good time and good learning.coreydolgon. “I learned about the importance and power of strikes and labor unions.D in American Culture and Sociology Professor has been performing “singing lectures” for almost a decade. and organizing. Professor of Sociology.In Search of One Big Union: A Singing Lecture by Corey Dolgon. He is a long-time labor activist and community organizer and has used folk songs to build solidarity on the line and engage students in the classroom. I encourage other unions to add Corey's talents and expertise to their agendas. labor. Please contact Corey for scheduling a lecture or receiving a sample CD at 617-298-0388 or at cdolgon@worcester. New England College “Corey's music added tremendous spirit to our National Labor Assembly. More info @ www. and other social movements were entertaining.” --Stonehill College student “Corey’s work weaves together a coherent and accessible narrative about labor struggles with a tour de force of labor songs that moves audiences. United American Nurses. AFL-CIO “Corey Dolgon’s “singing lecture” is a hit. labor. [The lecture] made the period come alive for me. Focusing on the role that folksongs play in the U. Professor of Sociology.” --Chris Dale. Folksinger & Sociologist Corey Dolgon. This singing lecture covers labor history from a multicultural perspective and examines the function of folk songs in workers’ lives. very informative. William Patterson U. U. Corey’s words and music bring both history and theory to life.S. and inspiring.

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