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The Multicultural Prison: ethnicity, masculinity, and social relations among prisoners

Coretta Phillips
Oxford University Press (8 November 2012)

The Multicultural Prison presents a unique sociological analysis of the daily negotiation of ethnic difference within the closed world of two male prisons. The political economy of racialized incarceration together with penal expansion has seen the disproportionate incarceration of diverse British national, foreign and migrant populations, brought into close proximity within the confines of the prison. The impact of broad social changes - globalised migration, the deepening of North-South economic inequalities, and the assertion of minority groups’ claims for social and political recognition and equality – are considered at a time when issues of race, multiculture, and racialization inside the prison have been somewhat neglected. Recognising also the significance of religion, age, masculinity, national and local (postcode) identifications, it considers how multiple identities configure social interactions among prisoners in late modern prisoner society. Using stories from both white and minority ethnic prisoners, it considers challenging issues of discrimination, inequality, entitlement, and preferential treatment from the perspective of diverse groups of prisoners.

The Multicultural Prison will be of interest to students and scholars of criminology, sociology, and social policy.

  • Dr Coretta Philips is senior lecturer in the Department of Social Policy and a member of the Mannheim Centre for Criminology at LSE.

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The Multicultural Prison