The vast majority of theses in this collection are open access and freely available. There are a small number of theses that have access restricted to the WWU campus. For off-campus access to a thesis labeled "Campus Only Access," please log in here with your WWU universal ID, or talk to your librarian about requesting the restricted thesis through interlibrary loan.

Date Permissions Signed

2-27-2017

Date of Award

Winter 2017

Document Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Anthropology

First Advisor

Young, Kathleen Z.

Second Advisor

Bruna, Sean

Third Advisor

Thibou, Shurla

Abstract

This thesis focuses on the relationship between the prison system and the history of institutionalized racism in the United States. It begins with a detailed historical and political analysis of the criminal justice system in relation to race/ethnicity from the abolition of slavery in the nineteenth century into a modern day context. The ideologies birthed from the abolition of slavery that contributed to the structure of the United States penal system are paired with practices of contemporary mass incarceration. The examination of the historical in conjunction with the present shows a clear trajectory of how the U.S. private and public prison system took on many of the roles once held by slavery. A look into contemporary practices of mass incarceration includes the role of the private prison as a way to profit from racism, as well as to expand the system. The role of free labor is central to these connections, as it is the historical constant both in the forms of antebellum slavery as well as prison labor. Finally, with an understanding of the relationship between prison conditions and racism, this thesis concludes with the questioning of what positive changes can be made.

Type

Text

Publisher

Western Washington University

OCLC Number

974654131

Digital Format

application/pdf

Geographic Coverage

United States

Genre/Form

Academic theses

Language

English

Language Code

eng

Rights

Copying of this thesis in whole or in part is allowable only for scholarly purposes. It is understood, however, that any copying or publication of this thesis for commercial purposes, or for financial gain, shall not be allowed without the author's written permission.

Included in

Anthropology Commons

Share

COinS