Download Citation on ResearchGate | On Jan 1, , Loic Wacquant and others published From slavery to mass incarceration: Rethinking the “race question”. According to Wacquant, an unforeseen by-product of chattel slavery was the Institutions in U.S. History: “From Slavery to Mass Incarceration”. Of the supplementary readings provided, I found “From Slavery to Mass Incarceration” by Loïc Wacquant the most intriguing. This particular.

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Oxford University Press,esp. Prison is rapidly being re-lexified in the same segregated fashion.

University of Illinois Press,chapter 4, esp. Likewise, inmates throughout Western Europe are overwhelmingly drawn from the deskilled and precarious fractions of the working class. This parallel institutional nexus affords the subordinate group a measure of protection, autonomy and slaevry, but at the cost of locking it in a relationship of structural subordination and dependency. The Kinship of Ghetto and Prison.

A contemporary expression of this class reductionism is Michael Parenti, Lockdown America: Cambridge University Press,pp. Since whites were lolc majority landowners, blacks were at a huge economic disadvantage and had little choice but to labor as sharecroppers.

The federal governement and the courts also countenanced overt discrimination in the real estate industry and restrictive covenants forbidding owners and their heirs to sell property to Negroes for up to twenty years—the Supreme Court deemed such restrictions constitutional until For African Americans, every encounter with Southern whites during this era was pregnant with slavedy possibility of incarceratoin aggression and public repression, every setting and situation colored by the looming specter of heinous murder if they deviated in the slightest way from white expectations and demands.

Registration Forgot your password? Lieberman, Shifting the Color Line: Racial division was a consequence, not a precondition, of US slavery, but once it was instituted it became detached from its initial function and acquired a social potency of its own.

They had to step off the sidewalk to leave ample room to passing whites, wait until all the white patrons were served in stores or offices, and approach white homes only from the back—so ingrained was the habit, and the belief that the Negro was a natural-born thief, that upon leaving their house white Mississipians locked the back door but left the front door open.

Kenneth Stampp, The Peculiar Institution: Litwack, Trouble in Mind: Inthe U. Oxford University Press,p. Knopf,pp. As writer John Edgar Wideman points out:. Gardner, and Mary R. Biracial partition was not a central causative factor in its establishment for the simple reason that it had yet to emerge: Toward the Militarization of Urban Cleaveages.


However, no historical work to date has satisfactorily explained how and why slavery was racialized in the peculiar and peculiarly enduring manner that it was in the United States.

Loic Wacquant: From Slavery to Mass Incarceration. New Left Review 13, January-February

These grim statistics are well known and agreed upon among students of crime and justice in the United States, though they have been steadfastly ignored or minimized by analysts of urban marginality and social policy, who have never properly registered the full disruptive impact that imprisonment has had on low-income black communities—indeed the pivotal role that the penal fro of the wacqkant has assumed in regulating race and poverty in the aftermath of the Civil Rights revolution.

In North America as in the other frontiers of the rapidly expanding European world-system, bound labor would have to be recruited and extracted on a mass scale, but what method of compulsion would prevail there? I further argue that, in the post-Civil Rights era, the remnants of the dark incarcerarion and the fast-expanding carceral system of the United States have become tightly linked by a triple relationship of functional equivalency, structural homology, and cultural fusion.

Rather, each produces or co-produces this division anew out of inherited demarcations and disparities of group power and inscribes it at every epoch in a distinctive slavdry of material and symbolic forms. Soon the black ghetto, converted into an instrument of naked exclusion by the concurrent retrenchment of wage labour and social protection, and further destabilized by the increasing penetration icnarceration the penal arm of the state, became bound to the jail and prison system by a triple relationship of functional equivalency, structural homology and cultural syncretism, such that they now constitute a single carceral continuum which entraps a redundant population of younger black men and increasingly women who circulate in closed circuit between its two poles in a self-perpetuating cycle of social and legal marginality incarceratkon devastating personal and social consequences.

By the close of the 18th century, slavery had become self-reproducing and expanded to the fertile crescent of the Southern interior, running from South Carolina to Louisiana, where it supplied a highly profitable organization of labour slavedy cotton production and the basis for a plantation society distinctive for its feudal-like wacquznt, politics, and psychology. But those were the exact pejorative features that they attributed to their European servants—especially those of Irish origins, who carried the double burden of foreignness and papism.

Once again blacks were used as a cheap labor force—this time bolstering the industrial economy. Prisons of PovertyMinneapolis Oxford University Press,pp.

Wesleyan University Press,orig. Verso,esp. In most Southern states, the sharecropping contract had this further peculiarity that louc could be enforced by the planter in criminal rather than civil court: HarperPerennial,pp.


Do you think that many are wrongful imprisoned? Cambridge University Press,who recounts how English bond-servants were transported alongside convicts in ghastly conditions, stripped naked, and sold at auctions or ceded to traders who marched them overland, sometimes in coffles, to sell them across the countryside where they were made to sllavery in ways that British observers denounced with indignation as tantamount to chattel slavery.

The hard work for civil rights during the 60s, including the right to vote, finally paid off. This opened a second phase, covering the closing two decades of the century, during which the white lower classes, pressed by the dislocations wrought by declining farm prices, demographic pressure, and nascent capitalist industrialization, joined with the plantation elite to demand the political disenfranchisement and systematic exclusion of former slaves from all major institutions.

The first three institutions function as an incsrceration of labor extraction and a means of social ostracization. Johnson, Growing Up in the Black Belt: Schocken Books, []pp. The Emancipation Proclamation occurs inand this newly gained pseudo freedom for blacks, confronts white society with two major issues: Black ownership declined steadily over time, as did the value and size of the farms they owned, most of which were marginal concerns installed on infertile land and starved for capital and credit Neil R.

Litwack, North of Slavery: John Hagan and Ruth D. Why did the ghetto no longer succeed in its containment purpose? Caste, race, ethnicity, nationality Are cultural inventions designed to create boundaries around one or another imagined community.

Free African-Americans were commonly ostracized and feared as competitors by workers and skilled artisans in the Northern cities, and they were pressured into labor contracts as field hands in the rural South that imposed the same work and living conditions as slaves—and incqrceration pushed them into debt, anticipating the peonage arrangements of the post-bellum period.


Third, ghettos functioned to confine blacks to a specific territorial space. Let me say a few brief words about 1 – 4. In their homes, in lodge rooms and clubhouses, pool parlors and taverns, cabarets and movies, they can temporarily shake off the ijcarceration of the white world.