Women in prison-based drama

Harmes, Marcus K. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5104-1967 and Harmes, Barbara ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5599-4204 and Harmes, Meredith A. (2020) Women in prison-based drama. In: The international encyclopedia of gender, media, and communication. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York, United States. ISBN 978-1119429128


A substantial number of studies have conceptualized the interaction of gender with carceral spaces. This scholarship has proliferated across the 2000s as the real‐world practice of mass incarceration has made prisons larger and more troubling. Women, including women of color, comprise a significantly smaller prison population than male prisoners; however, these smaller numbers belie the quantity of scholarship about women in prison or the number of media outputs which interpret and often exploit the lives of women behind bars. We approach gender through the lens of popular culture, pointing to the distinctive body of texts interpreting women in prison through theories of gender and aligned with complementary scholarship on race, transgender identity, and masculinity. Scholarship has noted and critiqued the sexploitative potential inherent in films set in prison, especially the “women in prison” cycle and has in turn offered more nuanced impressions of women in prison fulfilling disparate female‐coded activities such breastfeeding mothers, lovers, and wives. Writings on these issues have begun to show a corrective urge and are now allied with serious calls for penal reform that converge with scholarship on race and race‐based bias.

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Item Type: Book Chapter (Commonwealth Reporting Category B)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Permanent restricted access to Published Chapter + Front Matter in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - USQ College (8 Jun 2020 -)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - USQ College (8 Jun 2020 -)
Date Deposited: 07 Sep 2020 05:00
Last Modified: 09 Oct 2020 04:47
Uncontrolled Keywords: prison; incarceration; drama; sexploitation; women in prison
Fields of Research (2008): 20 Language, Communication and Culture > 2001 Communication and Media Studies > 200101 Communication Studies
20 Language, Communication and Culture > 2002 Cultural Studies > 200212 Screen and Media Culture
Fields of Research (2020): 47 LANGUAGE, COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE > 4701 Communication and media studies > 470101 Communication studies
47 LANGUAGE, COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE > 4702 Cultural studies > 470214 Screen and media culture
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970120 Expanding Knowledge in Language, Communication and Culture
Identification Number or DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/9781119429128.iegmc273
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/39289

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