1st Edition

Punishing the Other The social production of immorality revisited

Edited By Anna Eriksson Copyright 2016
    290 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    290 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Punishing the Other draws on the work of Zygmunt Bauman to discuss contemporary discourses and practices of punishment and criminalization. Bringing together some of the most exciting international scholars, both established and emerging, this book engages with Bauman’s thesis of the social production of immorality in the context of criminalization and social control and addresses processes of ‘othering’ through a range of contemporary case studies situated in various cultural, political and social contexts.

    Topics covered include the increasing bureaucratization of the business of punishment with the corresponding loss of moral and ethical reflection in the public sphere; punitive discourses around border control and immigration; and exclusionary discourses and their consequences concerning ‘terrorists’ and other socially and culturally defined outsiders.

    Engaging with national and global issues that are more topical now than ever before, this book is essential reading for academics and students of involved in the study of the sociology of punishment, punishment and modern society, the criminal justice system, philosophy and punishment, and comparative criminology and penology.

    Introduction  1. Dehumanization, social contact and techniques of Othering: combining the lessons from Holocaust studies and prison research, Peter Scharff Smith  2. The legal civilizing process: dignity and the protection of human rights in advanced bureaucratic democracies, Jonathan Simon  3. The re-humanization of the incarcerated Other: bureaucracy, distantiation and American mass incarceration, David A. Green  4. Prisons and the social production of immorality, Anna Eriksson  5. Swedish ‘prison exceptionalism’ in decline: trends towards distantiation and objectification of the Other, Anders Bruhn, Per-Åke Nylander and Odd Lindberg  6. Doing away with decency? Foreigners, punishment and the liberal state, Ana Aliverti  7. Immigration detention, ambivalence and the colonial Other, Mary Bosworth  8. Controlling Roma in Norway: governing through the administration of social distance, Nicolay B. Johansen  9. On Bauman’s moral duty: population registries, REVA and eviction from the Nordic realm, Vanessa Barker  10. Immobilization in the age of mobility: sex offenders, security and the regulation of risk, John Pratt  11. From terra nullius to terra liquidus? Liquid modernity and the Indigenous Other, Harry Blagg  12. Symbiotic Othering: terrorism, emotion and morality, Debra A. Smith.


    Anna Eriksson is a criminologist and penologist based at Monash University, Australia. In 2012, she received funding from the Australian Research Council for a three-year research fellowship on the topic of comparative penology, and this book is the first major publication to result from that project. She is also involved in other research projects, concerning children of prisoners, people with acquired brain injuries in the criminal justice system, preparation for release and parole, and restorative justice. Her latest book (with John Pratt), Contrasts in Punishment: An Explanation of Anglophone Excess and Nordic Exceptionalism, was published by Routledge in 2013. She has been a visiting academic at King’s College London, UK; Örebro University, Sweden; and Oxford University, UK. Eriksson is a member of the advisory board of the Palgrave Studies in Prisons and Penology, and is the Director of the Imprisonment Observatory: http://artsonline.monash.edu.au/imprisonmentobservatory/.

    ‘Provocative and most thought-provoking, with Zygmunt Bauman as their point of departure, the concepts of morality and immorality are taken to task in this string of scholarly contributions by a wide array of international scholars. A must-read for everyone interested in and concerned about immorality of our time.’ - Thomas Mathiesen, Professor Emeritus of Sociology of Law, University of Oslo, Norway

    ‘This important volume takes Zygmunt Bauman’s classic Modernity and the Holocaust as its starting-point, and innovatively applies it – by no means always uncritically – to the study of punishment and practices of exclusion. The authors, who include both established and emerging scholars, address a range of key topics such as imprisonment, immigration detention, and the social control of sex offenders, Roma and indigenous populations. Anyone interested in the sociology of contemporary social control will learn much from this fine collection of essays.’ - Anthony Bottoms, Emeritus Wolfson Professor of Criminology, Cambridge University, UK

    "Punishing the Other will have broad appeal for criminologists, sociologists and scholars in related disciplines. It provides a helpful introduction for those encountering Bauman for the first time, as well as being a welcome contribution to the growing secondary literature on Bauman’s impressive oeuvre…. (It) is undoubtedly a significant contribution to the literature and a testament to the continued significance of Bauman’s ethical thought to contemporary critical analysis. As well as bringing together new case studies, Punishing the Other will stimulate wider debate and highlight the importance of questioning the moral legitimacy of othering and its penal implications." – David Scott, Liverpool John Moores University, British Journal of Criminology