Acting Toward Social Change
Edited By David J. Connor, Jan W. Valle and Chris Hale
5. “It was just like a piece of gum”: Using an Intersectional Approach to Understand Criminalizing Young Women of Color With Disabilities in the School-to-Prison Pipeline
SUBINI ANCY ANNAMMA
“The prison therefore functions ideologically as an abstract site into which undesirables are deposited, relieving us of the responsibility of thinking about the real issues afflicting those communities from which prisoners are drawn in such disproportionate numbers.”
—Angela Davis (2003, p. 16)
In speaking of race, gender, sexuality, and social class, Goodwin (2003) writes, “Each of these social constructs in itself and of itself rendered a subordinate and arguably punishable status on the individual. Often those who were labeled mentally ill were racialized (i.e., black), gendered (i.e., female), sexualized (i.e., homosexual or promiscuous), or simply poor, and no amount of ‘treatment’ could change or alter those social positions” (p. 230). In framing her perspective, Goodwin illustrated how women who are socially constructed with multiple subordinated identities became more susceptible to punishment. It is worth noting that women and girls’ interactions with punishment often occur in the private sphere, under such conditions as domestic violence, drug use, and sexual abuse (Belknap, 2007; Richie, 2012). However, conceptualizing women’s issues as exclusively private overlooks the fact the women and girls can and do experience violence and domination within the public sphere at the hands of the state (Ritchie, 2006). ← 83 | 84 →
For young people of color, racialized state violence often occurs in schools via what is known as the School-to-Prison Pipeline (referred to here as “the Pipeline”) (Winn, 2011). The Pipeline is conceptualized as the “prioritization of incarceration over education,...
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