The late twentieth century saw an intense expansion of the prison system in the United States during the same period in which Foucault's influenced academic approaches to power and subjection. This article reviews the history, sociology, and anthropology of the prison, as well as some recent popular critiques of the current situation. It highlights critical perspectives on modern forms of punishment and reform and suggests areas in which an anthropology of prisons might take up questions of modernity, subjection, classification, social suffering, and ethnographic possibility in the context of an increasingly politicized and racialized system of incarceration.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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