The Deviance of Deviants: A Feminist Comparative Analysis of Women and Men's Crime and Imprisonment in the United States
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This essay will address several overlapping questions: (l) What is the relationship between criminality and citizenship? (2) How has the state constructed criminality differently for men and women, white men and men of color, and white women and women of color? (3) What political and social functions do men's and women's criminality serve? (4) Do women experience incarceration differently than men, and what insight does this offer into their material realities outside of prison? (5) How do women in jail/prison resist the conditions of their confinement? (6) What are the consequences for the state of women's increased incarceration? It is my hope that by making incarcerated women visible and taking their experiences seriously, this work will contribute to a clearer understanding of not only the varied impacts of sexism and racism in the United States, but also of the resilience and ingenuity of women who have survived some of the state's most invisible abuses in jails and prisons across the country.