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Castles of our Conscience. Social Control and the American State 1800 - 1985

  • ID: 3110326
  • Book
  • October 1990
  • Region: United States
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd
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Castles of our Conscience presents a new and distinctive analysis of the role of the modern state in the shaping of policies of social control. Staples provides a theoretical framework for understanding the mechanisms of state policy–making and capacity. This framework supports an interpretation of the changing nature of institutions of social control in the United States from the beginning in the nineteenth century to the present day.

A distinctive feature of the author s approach is his critique of existing theories of the state as well as recent revisionist writing in social control. Both, he argues, have tended to either reduce the state to an instrument of class power or treat it in too structuralist a fashion. Developing a sophisticated account of the relationship between the state and civil society he provides a history of social control policies in the United States that balances analytical concerns with historical narrative.

This book will be of interest to students and professionals in sociology, politics and criminology.
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1 Explaining Patterns of Institutional Social Control

From Progressivism to Revisionism

Toward a State–centered Perspective

The Structuration of the State: Form, Function, and Apparatus

Part I The Denial of Freedom in the New Republic: Social Control and the American State, 1800 1929

2 Charting the Liberal–Capitalist State

Production Politics in the Nineteenth–century Prison

The "Problem" of Prison Labor

The Origins of the Prison as Factory

Discipline, Punishment, and Capitalism

Working to Reproduce the State

3 Public Welfare in an Age of Social and Economic Crises

Poverty, Dependency, and the Poorhouse

From "Houses of Industry" to "Disgraceful Memorials"

Classification and the Growth of Specialized Institutions

Absorbing the Local State: Centralization, Political Power, and the State Apparatus

Part II Accumulating Minds and Bodies: Social Control and the American State, 1930 1985

4 Charting the Advanced–Capitalist State

Roads to the State Asylum

The Idle and Unproductive in the Penitentiary

The Juvenile Court and the Penetration of the Family

5 Contradictions and Consequences in Post–war Psychiatry

The State Hospital in the "New Age" of Community Mental Health

Opening the Back Doors: The Political Legitimacy of State Governments and the Early Signs of Deinstitutionalization

Community Psychiatry and the "New Frontier" of Progressive Social Reform

6 Public Policy under the Liberal Welfare State

From the "New Frontier" to the "Great Society": The Politics and Policies of the Kennedy–Johnson Years

"Gray Gold": The New American Nursing Home Industry

The Goal of "Reintegration": Offenders on Probation and Parole

Crises in the Community: the Politicization of America s "Crime Wave"

Adolescents Go from Bad to Mad

7 The Evolution of the State Apparatus

The Dialectics of the State in Civil Society

Appendix: Concepts, Data, and Sources



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Bill Staples grew up on the south shore of Long Island, New York. He has been a commercial fisherman, taxicab driver, plumber's apprentice, and pizza maker. He studied sociology at the University of Oregon, the University of Southern California, and UCLA. Staples is currently the 2013–14 E. Jackson Baur Professor of Sociology and founding Director of the Surveillance Studies Research Center at the University of Kansas. In addition to the first edition of EVERYDAY SURVEILLANCE his previous books include CASTLES OF OUR CONSCIENCE: SOCIAL CONTROL AND THE AMERICAN STATE, 1800–1985, a CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title, POWER, PROFITS, AND PATRIARCHY: THE SOCIAL ORGANIZATION OF WORK AT A BRITISH METAL TRADES FIRM, 1791–1922 (with C. L. Staples), an American Sociological Association Book Award winner as well as and the two–volume reference work, THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF PRIVACY, also a CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title. He lives in Lawrence, Kansas.
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