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Can't Catch a Break : Gender, Jail, Drugs, and the Limits of Personal Responsibility
by Susan Starr Sered and Maureen Norton-hawk


Overview - Based on five years of fieldwork in Boston, Can t Catch a Brea k documents the day-to-day lives of forty women as they struggle to survive sexual abuse, violent communities, ineffective social and therapeutic programs, discriminatory local and federal policies, criminalization, incarceration, and a broad cultural consensus that views suffering as a consequence of personal flaws and bad choices.  Read more...

 
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More About Can't Catch a Break by Susan Starr Sered; Maureen Norton-hawk
 
 
 
Overview
Based on five years of fieldwork in Boston, Can t Catch a Break documents the day-to-day lives of forty women as they struggle to survive sexual abuse, violent communities, ineffective social and therapeutic programs, discriminatory local and federal policies, criminalization, incarceration, and a broad cultural consensus that views suffering as a consequence of personal flaws and bad choices. Combining hard-hitting policy analysis with an intimate account of how marginalized women navigate an unforgiving world, Susan Sered and Maureen Norton-Hawk shine new light on the deep and complex connections between suffering and social inequality."

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9780520282797
  • ISBN-10: 0520282795
  • Publisher: University of California Press
  • Publish Date: September 2014
  • Page Count: 216


Related Categories

Books > Social Science > Women's Studies - General
Books > Social Science > Criminology
Books > Social Science > Violence in Society

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2014-09-08
  • Reviewer: Staff

In this passionate, deeply researched study, Suffolk University sociologists Sered and Norton-Hawk argue that prisons have "become the way that America deals with human suffering," especially the suffering of women, who are being incarcerated at ever higher numbers. The authors, who closely studied 47 formerly incarcerated women in the Boston area for 5 years, examine both how women land in prison and how fragile their lives are after release. They discuss the inarguable connections between being abused and getting arrested. Reaganomics and welfare reform, Sered and Norton-Hawk argue, have had disastrous consequences for these women, both before and after incarceration. In particular, lack of stable housing makes women who have been imprisoned more dependent on men. In the study's most original chapter, the authors argue that the therapeutic and mental health services available to the incarcerated and formerly incarcerated, rather than directing attention to how society has stacked the deck against marginal women and suggesting political solutions, teach that people's problems are the result of their own unhealed trauma. This compelling and important book deserves to be widely read. (Sept.)

 
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