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Labor and the Carceral State

How can we understand mass incarceration as a system of labor governance? This post introduces our new symposium on "carceral labor" by offering an empirical and conceptual overview of the different ways in which the carceral state structures and compels work, both in and beyond the prison.

Coerced: Work Under Threat of Punishment

Economic coercion is not the only power dynamic that shapes labor relations. In a range of cases - including prison laborers, welfare workers, college athletes, and graduate students - employers exercise power over workers by controlling their “status” and all of the rights, privileges, and opportunities that such status confers.