B Crewe and J Bennett, The Prisoner

AuthorDominic Kelly
Published date01 April 2013
Date01 April 2013
Subject MatterBook Reviews
The Paralympics games, for instance, made evident not only the beauty and
strength of all bodies but also how they can be used to their full potential: it is
just a matter of will (or resources – financial resources as it were).
Women and migrants are corporalized as they are different. Their bodies are
threatening as they violate current cosmologies of classification; violence is both a
tool to establish their subalternity affirming specific hierarchies and the product of
this understanding. And yet, those who put bodies at the centre of their politics
recognize and affirm the potentially unsettling effects that the specificity of their
bodies, their histories, may have in the current neutralized and normative land-
scape. Violence, one may add, is also linked to a specific understanding of notions
of freedom and autonomy which are based on denial and domination of the rela-
tionship with others as many feminists have underlined (p. 31).
Pitch highlights many of the contradictory processes linked to the imperative of
prevention in contemporary society, using interesting insights from anthropo-
logical and feminist literature and from the emergence of preventive practices in
continental Europe. As usual, this leading legal scholar has opened up a space for a
feminist reading of practices of control at a time of increased precariousness. It is to
be hoped that others will follow her.
Butler J (1990) Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity. London:
Sawicki J (1991) Disciplining Foucault: Feminism Power and the Body. London: Routledge.
Teresa Degenhardt
Queen’s University Belfast, Northern Ireland
B Crewe and J Bennett, The Prisoner, Routledge: Oxon, 2012; i–xxv + 158 pp.: 9780415668651,
£80.75 (hbk), £24.69 (pbk)
While the pains, pressures and frustrations experienced by prisoners have been
widely studied by academics, practitioners and policy-makers, rarely are prisoners
afforded the opportunity to express life behind bars in their own words. In this
unique collection, editors Ben Crewe and Jamie Bennett utilize prisoners’ narra-
tives to foreground and direct the discussion, for the purposes of viewing them as
‘subjects rather than objects’ (p. xv) and to ‘widen the lens through which [pris-
oners] are seen’ (p. xxii). This book consists of 11 contributions discussing a broad
range of prisoner-centric topics including culture, identity and coping, comple-
mented with biographies by more marginalized prisoner groups than those repre-
sented in traditional prison literature. Each chapter begins with interview excerpts
from several prisoners on a subject, followed with experts’ discussion and analysis.
The editors acknowledge that they take an incomplete look at prisoners’ social
208 Punishment & Society 15(2)

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