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Princeton University Press
The Society of Captives: A Study of a Maximum Security Prison

The Society of Captives: A Study of a Maximum Security Prison

by Gresham M. Sykes, Bruce Western
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The Society of Captives, first published in 1958, is a classic of modern criminology and one of the most important books ever written about prison.

Gresham Sykes wrote the book at the height of the Cold War, motivated by the world's experience of fascism and communism to study the closest thing to a totalitarian system in American life: a maximum security prison. His analysis calls into question the extent to which prisons can succeed in their attempts to control every facet of life--or whether the strong bonds between prisoners make it impossible to run a prison without finding ways of "accommodating" the prisoners.

Re-released now with a new introduction by Bruce Western and a new epilogue by the author, The Society of Captives will continue to serve as an indispensable text for coming to terms with the nature of modern power.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780691130644
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publication date: 04/01/2007
Series: Princeton Classic Editions Series
Edition description: With a New epilogue by the author
Pages: 200
Sales rank: 611,980
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x (d)

About the Author

Gresham M. Sykes is Professor of Sociology Emeritus at the University of Virginia. He is the author of many books, including Social Problems in America and Crime and Society, and the coauthor of Criminology.

Table of Contents

Introduction to the Princeton Classic Edition ix

Preface xxvii

Introduction xxix

Chapter One: The Prison and Its Setting 3

Chapter Two: The Regime of the Custodians 13

Chapter Three: The Defects of Total Power 40

Chapter Four: The Pains of Imprisonment 63

Chapter Five: Argot Roles 84

Chapter Six: Crisis and Equilibrium 109

Chapter Seven: A Postscript for Reformers 130

Epilogue: The Structural-Functional Perspective

on Imprisonment 135

Appendix A: A Note on Method 147

Appendix B: The Routine of Imprisonment 149

Index 157

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The Society of Captives: A Study of a Maximum Security Prison 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Excellent. Anyone studying the prison system in the U.S. should read this.