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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This is because, whereas in the early decades of the colony the status of slave and servant were virtually indistinguishable—the terms were even used interchangeably—and color distinctions incidental to social life, by the nineteenth century the legal opposition between bondsmen and freemen had been fully overlaid by a racialized dichotomy between whites and Negroes.

An additional 68, black women were locked up, a number higher than the total carceral population of all but two Wcquant European countries Germany and England.

They had to step off the sidewalk to incarcerattion ample incarxeration to passing whites, wait until all the white patrons were served in stores or offices, and approach white homes only loix 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. Inthe U. For African Americans, every encounter with Southern whites during this era was pregnant with the possibility of unprovoked 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.

Either way labor would be wrung from him.

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

Incarceratioj periodization differs from accepted chronologies of black-white relations in three ways: The Great Migration redirected these population streams towards the urban North and amplified them by harnessing them to industrial wage employment. African-Americans arrived under bondage in the land of freedom. Allocation across categories was based not on blood ties but on physical appearance and social acceptability, with curliness of hair, skin color, and linguistic ability the deciding factors.


Supreme Court in Dred Scott vs.

Any outward mark of Negro affluence, success, and pride, indicative of the possible desire to be treated with respect by whites, such as dressing up and coming to town for shopping on a weekday, could result in vigorous reprimand and immediate arrest, but also in vicious assault and outright assassination. Oxford University Press, The fourth, I contend here, is the novel institutional complex formed by the remnants of the dark ghetto and the carceral apparatus with which it has become joined by a linked relationship of structural symbiosis and functional surrogacy.

Likewise, the shift from ghetto to hyperghetto-cum-prison has been accompanied by a deep class splintering of the black community, a gradual erosion of the capacities for collective action it had built over the preceding half-century, and a corresponding loss of traction over the major strategic allies of the preceding periods, liberal whites, the Democratic Party, and the federal government, which acted under duress to dismantle the caste system of the South in the sixties but reneged at the task when it came to the urban ghetto of the North in the seventies.

Polity Press, []p.


Lofgren, The Plessy Case: Indeed, these defects composed the reigning representation of the English proletariat in statu nascendi back in the metropole during the decades when slavery was gradually becoming the prevailing form of labor in the American colonies.

As historian Edmund Morgan has pointed out. As writer John Edgar Wideman points out:. The American Revolution posed the first major threat to slavery and yet it eventually had the paradoxical effect of bolstering it while limiting its geographic perimeter.

University of California Press,p. The Morality of Carceral Efficiency.

In North Form 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? The prison then takes its place inacrceration the other peculiar race-producing institutions in U. This meant that in effect the plantation system remained intact, as sharecropping ensured that blacks would be kept in subservient and disadvantaged social and economic positions Spatial incarcertaion thus became overlayed with a parallel and inwardly-turned social structure that enfolded African Americans in a culturally homogenous and class heterogenous world unto itself wholly without counterpart among whites.


New York University Press, Wacquant observes a contradiction at the heart of neo-liberalism: 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 of 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 ooic self-perpetuating cycle of social and legal marginality with devastating personal and social consequences.

It cannot support people; most have to leave it for their daily jobs. The resident populations of both ghetto and prison are hemmed in under constraintthrough a mix of social and legal duress for the former restrictive covenants, redlining, street-level violence, generalized ostracismthrough juridical restraint exercised by police, correctional officers, slaery parole agents for the latter.

How were these concerns answered? University of Illinois Press,chapter 8; and Joe W. As a distinct, enclosed space, incarcerxtion ghetto separates the black city and its activities from the white city.

Norval Morris and David J.

Share buttons are a little bit lower. Continued state toleration and vigorous white support from imcarceration for rigid racial segregation in housing during the second half of the twentieth century are vividly recounted in David L. Jim Crow South, — The result is that siblings could belong to different racial categories and that individuals could engage a bureaucratic procedure to be reclassified up in a triadic racial schema about a thousand did so every year in the stwo things that the dichotomous American system based on ancestry forbids.

Hill and Wang, 3 rd ed. Oxford University Press,esp. As an uprooted people, African Americans have always migrated in search of improved economic opportunities and a less oppressive racial climate.