sociology (question-answer)

  

Your answers should be 2-6 sentences each question, depending on the question. Include page numbers in your responses so that you can refer back to the reading during the discussion. 

Questions for Alexander (2012), pages 97-139:

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1. What is Alexander’s (2012) overall explanation for the racial disparities in incarceration? [Hint: there are two stages.]

2. How does police discretion lead to racial discrimination in who gets stopped and arrested? What is some of the evidence Alexander (2012) presents to support this claim? (Be sure you understand what “police discretion” means).

3. What are some of the ways that the Supreme Court “closed the courthouse door” to challenges against racial bias in the criminal justice system (Alexander 2012, p. 139)? (You don’t need to know the names of specific court cases.)

Questions for Wacquant (2009a), Prisons of Poverty, 133-159 and Wacquant (2009b), Punishing the Poor, pages 195-208:

4. How did changes within the criminal justice system contribute to increasing punishment and incarceration since the 1970s?

5. How did politicians and the media contribute to increasing punishment and incarceration since the 1970s?

6. How was the collapse of the ghetto (as a form of racial control) linked to the growth of incarceration since the 1970s?

General Question:

7. Review Alexander’s (2012) argument from last week’s reading. What are the similarities and differences between Alexander’s (2012) explanation for the growth of incarceration (i.e., increasing number of people behind bars) and Wacquant’s (2009a, 2009b) explanations?

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