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American Penology: A History of Control (Paperback)
  • American Penology: A History of Control (Paperback)
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American Penology: A History of Control (Paperback)

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£29.99
Paperback 310 Pages / Published: 30/01/2010
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The purpose of American Penology is to provide a story of punishment's past, present, and likely future. The story begins in the 1600s, in the setting of colonial America, and ends in the present. As the story evolves through various historical and contemporary settings, America's efforts to understand and control crime unfold. The context, ideas, practices, and consequences of various reforms in the ways crime is punished are described and examined.

Though the book's broader scope and purpose can be distinguished from prior efforts, it necessarily incorporates many contributions from this rich literature. While this enlarged second edition incorporates select descriptions and contingencies in relation to particular eras and punishment ideas and practices, it does not limit itself to individual "histories" of these eras. Instead, it uses history to frame and help explain particular punishment ideas and practices in relation to the period and context from which they evolved. The authors focus upon selected demographic, economic, political, religious, and intellectual contingencies that are associated with historical and contemporary eras to show how these contingencies shaped America's punishment ideals and practices.

In offering a new understanding of received notions of crime control in this edition, Blomberg and Lucken not only provide insights into the future of punishment, but also show how the larger culture of control extends beyond the field of criminology to have an impact on declining levels of democracy, freedom, and privacy.

Publisher: Taylor & Francis Inc
ISBN: 9780202363349
Number of pages: 310
Weight: 431 g
Dimensions: 235 x 159 x 16 mm
Edition: 2nd New edition


MEDIA REVIEWS

"Blomberg and Lucken offer solid insight into the history of penal practice, which will enable readers to understand penal practice in the US more clearly and coherently than they previously might have. . . . The authors identify general trends or practices that define historical periods. . . . Highly recommended."

--M. A. Fole, " Choice"

"The book is worth perusing and should find its way onto college reading lists.... [W]ell written.... [A]n important and valuable contribution to the growing debate about social control in the electronic age."

--David J. Dodd, Contemporary Sociology


"Blomberg and Lucken offer solid insight into the history of penal practice, which will enable readers to understand penal practice in the US more clearly and coherently than they previously might have. . . . The authors identify general trends or practices that define historical periods. . . . Highly recommended."

--M. A. Fole, Choice

"Most texts and research literature focus on a variety of topics but lack an overall theme, whereas American Penology provides a framework in which to see the development of correctional practice as part of a larger process--an evolving "cultural of control" that now threatens to impose a surveillance technology not only on the growing numbers of felons and misdemeanants but on the rest of us as well. So this book is not only a history of corrections, although most of it deals with the past, but rather an attempt to frame this history within a context of changing ideologies and political philosophies. Further, the authors intend to show how different eras were dominated by a particular idea and a concomitant set of penal practices, only to give way to another era of ideas and practices without ever completely relinquishing the past. This contributed to a new-widening effect that has gradually expanded the degree of control by the state over more of the population. The implication is that "we are becoming a medium-secure society" in which "democracy, privacy, and other individual rights" are threatened and may disappear altogether. An Orwellian future awaits. It is a provocative and troubling thesis, and on the whole, Blomberg and Lucken argue it well. . . . This is an important and valuable contribution to the growing debate about social control in the electronic age."

--David J. Dodd, Contemporary Sociology

"This book is an interesting and intriguing departure from the standard approach to corrections study in America. The authors emphasize an historical approach and highlight the social context of the various penal practices and reforms from the last four centuries. Punishment is presented in the relation to economic, religious, political, intellectual, and theoretical influences. The introduction lays out the historical perspective of the piece and does an excellent job of describing not only the conceptual framework of the book, but also its scope and an outline of the topics addressed. . . . The authors' consistency and focus on the impact of the social, political, economic, and theoretical factors encourages complex sociological thinking and understanding of the evolution of penal policy and reform. Their overall approach makes explicit the link between societal factors and penal philosophy and practices. . . . This book should be considered as a viable alternative to traditional texts for the study of corrections."

--Kristi L. Hoffman, Teaching Sociology


"Blomberg and Lucken offer solid insight into the history of penal practice, which will enable readers to understand penal practice in the US more clearly and coherently than they previously might have. . . . The authors identify general trends or practices that define historical periods. . . . Highly recommended."

--M. A. Fole, Choice

"Most texts and research literature focus on a variety of topics but lack an overall theme, whereas American Penology provides a framework in which to see the development of correctional practice as part of a larger process--an evolving "cultural of control" that now threatens to impose a surveillance technology not only on the growing numbers of felons and misdemeanants but on the rest of us as well. So this book is not only a history of corrections, although most of it deals with the past, but rather an attempt to frame this history within a context of changing ideologies and political philosophies. Further, the authors intend to show how different eras were dominated by a particular idea and a concomitant set of penal practices, only to give way to another era of ideas and practices without ever completely relinquishing the past. This contributed to a new-widening effect that has gradually expanded the degree of control by the state over more of the population. The implication is that "we are becoming a medium-secure society" in which "democracy, privacy, and other individual rights" are threatened and may disappear altogether. An Orwellian future awaits. It is a provocative and troubling thesis, and on the whole, Blomberg and Lucken argue it well. . . . This is an important and valuable contribution to the growing debate about social control in the electronic age."

--David J. Dodd, Contemporary Sociology

"This book is an interesting and intriguing departure from the standard approach to corrections study in America. The authors emphasize an historical approach and highlight the social context of the various penal practices and reforms from the last four centuries. Punishment is presented in the relation to economic, religious, political, intellectual, and theoretical influences. The introduction lays out the historical perspective of the piece and does an excellent job of describing not only the conceptual framework of the book, but also its scope and an outline of the topics addressed. . . . The authors' consistency and focus on the impact of the social, political, economic, and theoretical factors encourages complex sociological thinking and understanding of the evolution of penal policy and reform. Their overall approach makes explicit the link between societal factors and penal philosophy and practices. . . . This book should be considered as a viable alternative to traditional texts for the study of corrections."

--Kristi L. Hoffman, Teaching Sociology


-Blomberg and Lucken offer solid insight into the history of penal practice, which will enable readers to understand penal practice in the US more clearly and coherently than they previously might have. . . . The authors identify general trends or practices that define historical periods. . . . Highly recommended.-

--M. A. Fole, Choice

-Most texts and research literature focus on a variety of topics but lack an overall theme, whereas American Penology provides a framework in which to see the development of correctional practice as part of a larger process--an evolving -cultural of control- that now threatens to impose a surveillance technology not only on the growing numbers of felons and misdemeanants but on the rest of us as well. So this book is not only a history of corrections, although most of it deals with the past, but rather an attempt to frame this history within a context of changing ideologies and political philosophies. Further, the authors intend to show how different eras were dominated by a particular idea and a concomitant set of penal practices, only to give way to another era of ideas and practices without ever completely relinquishing the past. This contributed to a new-widening effect that has gradually expanded the degree of control by the state over more of the population. The implication is that -we are becoming a medium-secure society- in which -democracy, privacy, and other individual rights- are threatened and may disappear altogether. An Orwellian future awaits. It is a provocative and troubling thesis, and on the whole, Blomberg and Lucken argue it well. . . . This is an important and valuable contribution to the growing debate about social control in the electronic age.-

--David J. Dodd, Contemporary Sociology

-This book is an interesting and intriguing departure from the standard approach to corrections study in America. The authors emphasize an historical approach and highlight the social context of the various penal practices and reforms from the last four centuries. Punishment is presented in the relation to economic, religious, political, intellectual, and theoretical influences. The introduction lays out the historical perspective of the piece and does an excellent job of describing not only the conceptual framework of the book, but also its scope and an outline of the topics addressed. . . . The authors' consistency and focus on the impact of the social, political, economic, and theoretical factors encourages complex sociological thinking and understanding of the evolution of penal policy and reform. Their overall approach makes explicit the link between societal factors and penal philosophy and practices. . . . This book should be considered as a viable alternative to traditional texts for the study of corrections.-

--Kristi L. Hoffman, Teaching Sociology

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