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Punishment in Popular Culture

Charles J. Jr. Ogletree and Austin Sarat


Punishment in Popular Culture examines the cultural images that undergird and critique America’s distinctive approach to punishment. It recognizes that the semiotics of punishment is all around us, not just in the architecture of the prison or the speech made by a judge as she sends someone to a penal colony, but in both “high” and “popular” culture iconography—in novels, television, and film. This book explores the presence of punishment as a subject in American popular culture. Like David Garland, we see punishment and culture connected in two ways: culture give punishment meaning and legiti ... More

Keywords: punishment, culture, popular culture, America, prison, media

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2015 Print ISBN-13: 9781479861958
Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: September 2016 DOI:10.18574/nyu/9781479861958.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Charles J. Jr. Ogletree, editor
Harvard Law School

Austin Sarat, editor

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Imaging Punishment

Charles J. Ogletree, Jr., and Austin Sarat

Part I The Popularity of Punishment

2 Better Here than There

Aurora Wallace

Part II Popular Culture’s Critique of Punishment

5 Rehabilitating Violence

Daniel LaChance

Part III The Reception and Impact of Punishment in Popular Culture

6 Scenes of Execution

Austin Sarat, Madeline Chan, Maia Cole, Melissa Lang, Nicholas Schcolnik, Jasjaap Sidhu, and Nica Siegel

8 Images of Injustice

Brandon L. Garrett