Social Stratification
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Social Stratification

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Black/White history in Prisons and Society - Social Stratification

Black/White history in Prisons and Society - Social Stratification

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Social Stratification Social Stratification Presentation Transcript

  • Black/White history
    • Jim Crow: Late 1800s to 1960s
      • System of formal Black-White segregation
        • After ‘Reconstruction’ in the South
      • Supreme Court: Plessy v. Ferguson (1896)
        • Plessy: ‘of seven-eighths Caucasian, and one-eighth African blood’
        • Denied a seat on a first class coach in Louisiana
        • Court upheld ‘separate-but-equal’
  • Civil Rights era
    • Civil Rights era
      • Supreme Court: Brown v. Board of Ed (1954)
        • Court overturned Plessy
        • Rejected ‘separated-but-equal’
        • School districts can’t segregate
      • Social movement mobilization
      • Challenge to segregation, 1950s-1960s
  • Civil Rights Act (1964)
    • Bans employer discrimination based on:
      • race
      • sex
      • religion
      • national origin
    • Allows current inequalities to persist
      • Past discrimination affects qualifications
  • 1884-1914: 3,600 lynchings Murder of James Allen and John Littlefield, Marion, Indiana, 1930
  • Executions for rape, 1930-1967
  • Men in Prison, 2004 Source: BJS, "Prisoners in 2004."
  • The Rich Get Richer and the Poor Get Prison
  • U.S. v . the world: Incarceration Rates per 100,000 population: US 2004, others most recent. Source: sentencingproject.org.
  • People in prison and jail Source: Bureau of Justice Statistics Correctional Surveys. Update : prison clock
  • People without freedom Source: Bureau of Justice Statistics Correctional Surveys.
  • Chance of ever going to prison, men Source: Bureau of Justice Statistics, “Prevalence of Imprisonment in the U.S. Population, 1974-2001.”
  • What the justice system does
    • Maintain a visible ‘class’ of criminals
    • Project an image
      • Threat of crime = threat from the poor
    • A system designed to fail
      • Practices that lead to crime, not prevent it
    • Turns the middle class against the poor
      • ideological function
  • And how it maintains crime
    • Criminalizes victimless crimes
      • Crimes with no unwilling victim
    • Arbitrary power for enforcers
      • Increases alienation, mistrust of the system
    • Prisons are painful and demeaning
      • Overcomes any deterrent effect
  • And how it maintains crime (2)
    • Failure to provide job training or jobs
    • Life-long stigma
      • No voting rights for former felons
      • Registration laws and police records
    • No legitimate means of success
      • No opportunity for ‘legitimate’ means
    Update : Today’s NYT
  • Florida’s ex-felons in 2000 Bush’s margin in Florida: 537 votes If ex-felons could vote: Gore wins by 31,003 With 613,514 disenfranchised ex-felons: Assumes 14% would have voted, 69% of them for Gore.
  • Failure to stop crime
    • Recent declines
      • Partly the result of anti-crime policies?
    • But still higher than 1960 rates
      • Same policies didn’t work for many years
    • Other explanations
      • Stabilization of the drug trade
      • Fewer teenagers
      • Economic improvement
  • California, thousands in prison Sources: Bureau of Justice Statistics; Bureau of Labor Statistics. Imprisonment (left)
  • California prison, murder rate Sources: Bureau of Justice Statistics; Bureau of Labor Statistics. Imprisonment (left) Murder (right)
  • California prison, murder, jobs Sources: Bureau of Justice Statistics; Bureau of Labor Statistics. Imprisonment (left) Unemployment (right) Murder (right)
  • Reiman’s Pyrrhic defeat theory
    • Pyrrhic victory: victory at such a high cost, it’s really defeat
    • Pyrrhic defeat
    • Failure to stop crime benefits the powerful so much it amounts to success.