£18.99
FREE Delivery in the UK.
Only 3 left in stock (more on the way).
Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.
Quantity:1
Punishing the Poor: The N... has been added to your Basket
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 3 images

Punishing the Poor: The Neoliberal Government of Social Insecurity (Politics, History, & Culture) Paperback – 14 Jul 2009

5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

See all formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price
New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
Paperback
"Please retry"
£18.99
£14.13 £13.99
Note: This item is eligible for click and collect. Details
Pick up your parcel at a time and place that suits you.
  • Choose from over 13,000 locations across the UK
  • Prime members get unlimited deliveries at no additional cost
How to order to an Amazon Pickup Location?
  1. Find your preferred location and add it to your address book
  2. Dispatch to this address when you check out
Learn more
£18.99 FREE Delivery in the UK. Only 3 left in stock (more on the way). Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.
click to open popover

Special Offers and Product Promotions


Frequently Bought Together

  • Punishing the Poor: The Neoliberal Government of Social Insecurity (Politics, History, & Culture)
  • +
  • Urban Outcasts: A Comparative Sociology of Advanced Marginality
  • +
  • Prisons of Poverty (Contradictions)
Total price: £50.17
Buy the selected items together

Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.




Product details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Duke University Press (14 July 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 082234422X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0822344223
  • Product Dimensions: 15.5 x 2.8 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 428,950 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

Review

"This powerful book shows that America's harsh penal policies are of a piece with harsh social policies and that both can be understood as a symbolic and material apparatus to control the marginal populations created by neoliberal globalization. A tour de force!" --Frances Fox Piven, co-author of Regulating the Poor: The Functions of Public Welfare

"Boldly conceived and carefully constructed the book details the grandeur of a penal state resourced by the plundering of the social one and dissects the attitudes that legitimate it in all its grandeur. Moreover, Wacquant not only chronicles the enthronement of the penal state in the US but also its imitative climb towards ascendancy in Western Europe...The cityscape he surveys is as ruptured and ill-lit as an urban earthquake, but his gaze is clear and steady...Urgent and timely, absorbing and alarming, Punishing the Poor should warn us that Britain's increasing dependence on our penal state and the accelerating erosion of our social state are one and the same thing, and may prove a disaster." --TIMES HIGHER EDUCATION BOOK OF THE WEEK Louise Hardwick, Times Higher Education, 6th August 2009

From the Back Cover

"This masterful treatment of contemporary punishment policies relocates the entire field within the political sweep of the twentieth-century ascendance of economic neoliberalism and the evisceration of the welfare state. Loic Wacquant skillfully weds materialist and symbolic approaches in the best tradition of Marx and radical criminology, on the one hand, and Durkheim and Bourdieu, on the other. This provocative book is the counter-manifesto to neoliberal penality, a must-read for all students of criminal justice and citizenship."--Bernard E. Harcourt, author of "Against Prediction: Profiling, Policing, and Punishing in an Actuarial Age"

See all Product Description

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5 stars
5 star
2
4 star
0
3 star
0
2 star
0
1 star
0
See both customer reviews
Share your thoughts with other customers

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This should be essential reading for anyone interested in what 'welfare reform' really means: as Wacquant shows, it doesn't mean creating a better deal for the needy, it means extinguishing both the right and the expectation that the needy will get help from the government. Wacquant argues that the so-called 'war on crime' in the US is nothing other than a war on the poor with the aim of making them less visible. The irony is that it is costing government more to incarcerate the poor than it would to put them on welfare. So what has to be explained is why government would want to take the more expensive and obviously far less humane option. Given that the UK and Europe seem anxious to follow the same path as the US on this subject, Wacquant's claim that his research has a prophetic value is justified. This book is part of a trilogy and is obviously the product of a long and obsessive amount of research that has left no stone unturned.
Comment 18 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
Loic Wacquants dense and detailed book "Punishing the Poor" charts the changes in Public Welfare and Penal policies during the Neo-Liberal era. His critique is compelling: States have retreated from their responsibilities to the majority of the population in the economic sphere, turned welfare into machine for forcing workers into the ever growing precarious sector of the labour market, and dealt with those areas, classes and ethnicities who have suffered the most at the hands of the lack of stable employment opportunities and adequate social security with relentless and intruisive policing followed up with grotesque levels of incarceration.

The focus is primarily on the experience of the United States. Part 1 - "The Poverty of the Social State" details the welfare reforms of the post-civil rights era that culminated in the Clinton era "Workfare" act of 1996. With respect to the black population, as well as latinos, a strong case is made for regarding the changes to the labour market and welfare entitlements as functioning as a further stage of repression following slavery and the post-reconstruction "Jim Crow" era following the gains of the civil rights movements of the 1960's.

Part 2 - "Grandeur of the Penal State" charts the inexorable rise of incarceration during the Neoliberal era, the class and "race" dimensions of this immense (2,000,000+) penal obsession. Wacquant regards "workfare and prisonfare" as two sides of the same coin: workfare attacking the welfare of women to encourage them en masse to participate in a precarious labour market where they are no better off, and prisonfare as being the response to the troublesome lower class casualties of a Neoliberal economy that is not able, nor meant to, offer them employment or other prospects.
Read more ›
Comment 4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x978002c4) out of 5 stars 9 reviews
26 of 30 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x97877d08) out of 5 stars Essential Reading 31 Aug. 2009
By Ian M. Buchanan - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This should be essential reading for anyone interested in what 'welfare reform' really means: as Wacquant shows, it doesn't mean creating a better deal for the needy, it means extinguishing both the right and the expectation that the needy will get help from the government. Wacquant argues that the so-called 'war on crime' in the US is nothing other than a war on the poor with the aim of making them less visible. The irony is that it is costing government more to incarcerate the poor than it would to put them on welfare. So what has to be explained is why government would should the more expensive and obviously far less humane option. Given that the UK an Europe seem anxious to follow the same path as the US on this subject, Wacquant's claim that his research has a prophetic value is justified. This book is part of a trilogy and is obviously the product of a long and obsessive amount of research that has left no stone unturned.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x97877e58) out of 5 stars A Very Thought Provoking Analysis! 3 Oct. 2011
By Darrell Turner - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
'Punishing the Poor' is the second part of a Trilogy beginning with 'Urban Outcasts: A Comparative Sociology of Advanced Marginality' and ending with 'Deadly Symbiosis: Race and the Rise of the Penal State'.
In Punishing the Poor Wacquant elucidates the connection between Prison and Welfare. Both of these institutions serve the same demographics with the same purposes. According to Wacquant the rise in prison populations are in proportion to the dismantling of welfare and the deindustrialization of the urban core. Incarceration serves the function of removing undesirables from view while extending state surveillance and control beyond the prison itself through parole, probation and welfare. Welfare 'Queens' and 'Dangerous' criminals serve the function of displaced anger while the state proceeds with it's neoliberalism program of retrenchment.
There is a lot going on in this book which required a careful reading by me. Very thought provoking!
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x97877dc8) out of 5 stars Poverty and Punishment 29 Aug. 2012
By S Wood - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Loic Wacquants dense and detailed book "Punishing the Poor" charts the changes in Public Welfare and Penal policies during the Neo-Liberal era. His critique is compelling: States have retreated from their responsibilities to the majority of the population in the economic sphere, turned welfare into machine for forcing workers into the ever growing precarious sector of the labour market, and dealt with those areas, classes and ethnicities who have suffered the most at the hands of the lack of stable employment opportunities and adequate social security with relentless and intruisive policing followed up with grotesque levels of incarceration.

The focus is primarily on the experience of the United States. Part 1 - "The Poverty of the Social State" details the welfare reforms of the post-civil rights era that culminated in the Clinton era "Workfare" act of 1996. With respect to the black population, as well as latinos, a strong case is made for regarding the changes to the labour market and welfare entitlements as functioning as a further stage of repression following slavery and the post-reconstruction "Jim Crow" era following the gains of the civil rights movements of the 1960's.

Part 2 - "Grandeur of the Penal State" charts the inexorable rise of incarceration during the Neoliberal era, the class and "race" dimensions of this immense (2,000,000+) penal obsession. Wacquant regards "workfare and prisonfare" as two sides of the same coin: workfare attacking the welfare of women to encourage them en masse to participate in a precarious labour market where they are no better off, and prisonfare as being the response to the troublesome lower class casualties of a Neoliberal economy that is not able, nor meant to, offer them employment or other prospects.

Part 3 - "Priviliged Targets" is divided into two distinct case studies, the first being "The Prison as Surrogate Ghetto" deals in further detail with black experience of the penal system; and "Moralism and Punitive Panopticism" engages with the subject of prison and sexual offenders in a refreshingly objective manner, charting the moral posturing of politicians and the media against a punitive regime that may well increase rates of recidivism, and arguing for a dispassionate, rigorously scientific re-look at the whole question of sexual offenders with a view to reducing rates of re-offending and providing the most effective protection of the public.

The final part "European Declinations" charts the growing European tendancy to follow the example of the United States. It begins with a comprehensive debunking of zero-tolerance policing in particular that of New Yorks Mayor Rudy Giuliani, before moving on to general European turn to a workfare and prisonfare state, with particular focus on the experience of Wacquants native France.

The biggest, but far from fatal, shortcoming of the book is the occasional descent into what might be regarded as academic jargon. The introduction is particularly guilty of this, but I would encourage readers to work their way through this as they will be rewarded with a fascinating and holistic account of the Neoliberal State and its relations (Penal and Welfare/Workfare) with those who have lost most during its seemingly inexorable rise. Well recommended.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x97877cc0) out of 5 stars Neoliberalism and Penal State 2 May 2016
By Fang - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Neoliberalism has long possessed the irony of combining fanatic rhetorical promotion for free market and relentless deployment of state power in enacting market-based economy and suppressing social dissent. Loic Wacquant attempts to reconcile this internal conflict by providing a “historical anthropology” of the state, especially the its penal function, crackdown on criminal activities and mass incarceration in USA and France.
Following the footsteps of Marx and Foucault, Wacquant sees the antagonism between state and society as an inherent feature of capitalist production regime; the expansion of state’s governmentality in the area of penal function, for Wacquant, not only approximates the coercive disciplining of mass workers in factories, it also constitutes a necessary component in dealing with the social consequences of dissolving of workers’ social ties in a market economy. In the era of Neoliberalism, the state does revoke many of its social and economic responsibilities. However, massive reduction in social welfare, privatization of public goods provision and commodification of social needs has produced a whole new group of povertized, marginalized social poor living in turbulent lives without much support from an elaborate social network, requiring on the other hand a more severe and encompassing system of criminal detection and punishment to keep it at bay. Wacquant refers to Pierre Bourdieu’s bureaucratic field in describing state tactics in the expansion of its penal function: as bureaucratic organizations of the state intrudes into legislative and judiciary branches, they increasingly erodes the democratic process of the former and independence of the latter and incorporates penalty of crimes into its “rational”, bureaucratic sphere. Moreover, both de-socialized poor and incarcerated prisoners would not escape the logic of capitalist production, as they are mobilized in prison to engage in low-skill labor with low payment, themselves subjected to a more violent version of factory management regime. Finally, tough crackdown on criminal activities, increasing criminalization of behaviors of the poor regardless of their social situations and vigorous administration in prison also help politicians regain their lost political legitimacy by providing “vindication” of the consequence of failing individual morality as well as the “virtue” of responsible, individual, civic behaviorism. “Security”, in this Neoliberal setting, denotes the safe and undisturbed functioning of modern capitalist system, free from social pressure from below.
Wacquant’s book connects the multifaceted nature of Neoliberalism with its deep embeddedness in state and social power. Wacquant demonstrates that the contradictory nature of Neoliberalism requires a contradictory response: the dismantling of state regulation in some aspects but strengthening of such in other areas. Moreover, Wacquant reminds us that we should not be misled by the prefix “Neo-” in Neoliberalism. Its contemporary realization reveals new issues related to classic questions in social sciences: that of political machine, social norms and disruption of such, and, most fundamentally, power.
Reviewed Work
Wacquant, Loic, 2004. Punishing the Poor: The Neoliberal Government of Social Insecurity. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9787b5a0) out of 5 stars Absolutely fantastic! 13 Jun. 2013
By William Johnson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Loic Wacquant's masterful deployment of language in embedding continuously cogent, extended metaphors to illustrate complex relationships and ideas made this book a pleasure to read. This is the second book in a three part series, and having not read the first or the second, I feel that I was able to understand the book in its entirety. Great book, definitely recommended for anyone interested in government, sociology, penology, critical theory, philosophy, or law.
Were these reviews helpful? Let us know


Feedback