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Incarcerated Interactions

A Theory-Driven Analysis of Applied Prison Communication


Edited By Erik D. Fritsvold and Jonathan M. Bowman

Incarcerated Interactions: A Theory-Driven Analysis of Applied Prison Communication is an innovative, applied edited book that uses core interdisciplinary social science theories to analyze and describe the social psychology and sociology of communicative interactions amongst incarcerated individuals. Beginning with the fundamentals of human interactions, this edited volume allows scholars across a variety of disciplines (such as criminology, sociology, communication studies, social psychology, anthropology, and economics) to become familiar with and apply the core principles and the requisite terminology of human communication within a criminological context. Each of the four sections of the text not only build upon the knowledge structures of previous chapters, but also function as stand-alone analyses and/or applications of extant scholarship within essential contexts. From a general discussion of core social science theory to the specific application of that theory in a range of scholarly contexts, this book addresses relevant issues such as mental illness and wellness, the gendered experience of inmates, recidivism rates, violence, the criminogenic effect of incarceration and the large-scale implications of prison gangs and their associated cultural influence, to name a few.

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8. Social Identity & Structuration: A Case Study of the Aryan Brotherhood: Ronnie Pratte


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8. Social Identity & Structuration: A Case Study of the Aryan Brotherhood


The lust for power is a struggle that many human beings experience at some point in their lives. In correctional facilities, criminals focus much of their time and energy on attaining power, as they are stripped of many of the freedoms and resources they once held in free society. The Aryan Brotherhood, or the AB, provides an excellent study into just how vital it is for some to feel a sense of complete control and dominance over others. The evolution of the organization from a protective “brotherhood” of white inmates to a multi-million dollar criminal enterprise displays exactly how far the group has distanced itself from its original purpose. Henri Tajfel and John Turner’s social identity theory explains the origins of the Aryan Brotherhood and how they go about recruiting new members to extend their reach and manpower as an organization. While protection may be the reason for some new inmates to associate with a prison gang, others look to find a sense of identity and belonging with a group. The Aryan’ Brotherhood’s rhetoric can be utilized to convince first-time prisoners that they will be joining an elite brotherhood that serves their best interests. The structuration theory of Anthony Giddens demonstrates how the clear paradigm shift of the Aryan Brotherhood could occur from the group’s origins in the 1960s to its stages of growth in...

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