Caged Women: Incarceration, Representation, & Media, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Caged Women

Incarceration, Representation, & Media, 1st Edition

Edited by Shirley A. Jackson, Laurie L. Gordy


240 pages

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Paperback: 9781138297401
pub: 2018-06-13
Hardback: 9781138297395
pub: 2018-06-04
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pub: 2018-06-13
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The Netflix series Orange is the New Black has drawn widespread attention to many of the dysfunctions of prisons and the impact prisons have on those who live and work behind the prison gates. This anthology deepens this public awareness through scholarship on the television program and by exploring the real-world social, psychological, and legal issues female prisoners face. Each chapter references a particular connection to the Netflix series as its starting point of analysis.

The book brings together scholars to consider both media representations as well as the social justice issues for female inmates alluded to in the Netflix series Orange is the New Black. The chapters address myriad issues including cultural representations of race, class, gender, and sexuality; social justice issues for transgender inmates; racial dynamics within female prisons; gender and female prison structures/policies; treatment of women in prison; re-incarcerated and previously incarcerated women; self and identity; gender, race, and sentencing; and reproduction and parenting for female inmates.


What Americans think of policing, crime and prisons strongly reflects what they have seen on television, and when Orange is the New Black began on Netflix in 2013, suddenly the incarceration of women became culturally visible, and the tremendous variety hidden in the single word "women" was exposed. This volume of essays brilliantly captures both the potential unleashed in that dramatic moment and reveals the distortions that existed in our media-based knowledge. The editors have shaped an engaging examination of how women’s prisons have become something we viewers believe we now know something about, and so have created a fabulous tool for discussions on social dynamics depicted on screen that can connect to and enliven social analysis about the sweeping effects of mass incarceration on women, men and children today.

Myra Marx Ferree, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Historically, incarcerated women have been an invisible population, and the important and timely work presented in Caged Women: Incarceration, Representation, & Media brings them into the spotlight. From pregnancy and mothering behind bars to more overlooked topics such as racial inequality and transgender prisoners, the chapters in this book offer comprehensive insight into a host of critical issues that combine to bridge the gap between the fictionalized imagery presented in Orange is the New Black and other popular media forms and the real lives of women in prison.

Dawn K. Cecil, Ph.D, University of South Florida St. Petersburg

Table of Contents


Foreword - Valerie Jenness


Part 1. Identity Construction and Prison – Shirley A. Jackson

Chapter 1: Who Are You Really? Identity, Authenticity, and Narrative in Orange Is the New Black

Carolyn Chernoff and Kimberly Tauches

Chapter 2: Trying on Gender is the New Black: Female to Felon

L. Sue Williams, Edward L. Green, and Kimber R. Williams

Chapter 3: A Crisis Behind Bars: Transgender Inmates, Visibility & Social Justice

Emily Lenning and Carrie L. Buist

Part 2. Racial Inequality and Prisons – Shirley A. Jackson

Chapter 4: An Overlooked Link: Popular Media Stereotypes and the Incarceration of Black Girls and Young Women

Kristin Dukes

Chapter 5: Labeled Public Enemy Number One: Popular Media Portrayal of the Souls of Imprisoned Black Women

Cheryle D. Snead-Greene and Michael D. Royster

Chapter 6: Indifference is the New Black: Season One and the Violation of Women'sSolidarity

Bonnie Zare

Part 3. Pregnancy and Parenting for Female Inmates – JaDee Carathers

Chapter 7: Baby Bumps in Litchfield: Pregnancy in Orange is the New Black Series

Rebecca Rodriguez Carey

Chapter 8: Pregnancy and Postpartum Life Behind Bars: What’s Present and What’s Missing in Orange is the New Black

Janet Garcia-Hallett

Chapter 9: Pregnancy, Parenting and Prison: Mothering while Incarcerated

Jeanne Holcomb

Part 4. Prisons, Hegemony, and Patriarchy – Madhavi Venkatesan

Chapter 10: I'm in here because of bad choices: Patriarchy and female incarceration in Orange is the New Black

Sabrina Boyer

Chapter 11: Prison Privatization through the lens of Orange is the New Black: Caputo’s Declining Concern for Inmate-Wellbeing & Piper’s Descent to Dirty Panty Selling Mob Boss

Tracy L. Hawkins

Chapter 12: Executing Women -- A Feminist Post-structuralist Discourse Analysis of Media Narratives

Sarah Lazzeroni

Part 5. Prisoners and Policies - Diane M. Daane

Chapter 13: The Prison within the Prison: Solitary Confinement in Orange is the New Black

Edith Kinney

Chapter 14: Education behind Bars: What Orange is the New Black Neglects

Miltonette Craig

Part 6. Prison Culture - Laurie L. Gordy

Chapter 15: Consent Behind Bars: Changing Depictions of Sexual Assault on Orange is the New Black

Amber Lopez

Chapter 16: Gray is the New Orange: Older, Infirm Female Inmates and the Liminal Space between Human and Animal

Hadar Aviram

Chapter 17: Broccoli, Love and the Holy Toast: Cultural Depictions of Religion in Orange is the New Black

Terri Toles Patkin

About the Editors

Shirley A. Jackson, Ph.D., is Professor and Chair of the Black Studies Department at Portland State University. She is the editor of The Handbook of Race, Class, and Gender (Routledge/Taylor & Francis 2014). She is a sociologist whose research focuses on race/ethnicity, gender, social movements, and inequality.

Laurie L. Gordy, Ph.D., is the Dean of Academic Affairs and Professor of Sociology at Newbury College. Her research interests include gender, class, race in media, gender and sports, and the scholarship of teaching and learning.

About the Series

Sociology Re-Wired

This innovative series is for all readers interested in books that provide frameworks for making sense of the complexities of contemporary social life. Each of the books in this series uses a sociological lens to provide current critical and analytical perspectives on significant social issues, patterns and trends. The series consists of books that integrate the best ideas in sociological thought with an aim toward public education and engagement. These books are designed for use in the classroom as well as for scholars and socially curious general readers.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General