Edited by Juanita Elias and Adrienne Roberts
Chapter 16: Social reproduction: from welfare to the global prison?
This chapter explores the gendered political economy dynamics embedded in the increasing numbers of prison populations that have been unfolding since 2000 in almost all continents around the world. It reviews feminist prison political economies and their contribution to the study of the relationship between the feminization of labour, the reduction of welfare budgets and the increase in women’s imprisonment. It also notes the ways in which welfare and labour are imbricated in prison governance. Finally, the chapter argues for the need to advance theoretical and empirical work on the ways in which imprisonment permeates social reproduction and care responsibilities beyond prison institutions. By focusing on gender relations in, around and beyond female and male prisons, it suggests that feminist political economy has a role to play in the unpacking of the complex ways in which imprisonment permeates household arrangements in poor and racialized communities.
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