First strike : the effect of the prison regime upon public education and black masculinity in Los Angeles County, California

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Schnyder, Damien Michael

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My dissertation is an ethnographic analysis of a public high school in Southeast Los Angeles County. My research analyzes three issues that make major contributions to issues of race and gender within anthropology. First, my ethnography examines the linkages between the prison and public education systems. Second, I argue that as a means to control the movement of black bodies on campus, the public education system denies black students access to traditional spaces of black cultural autonomy. Third, I address the manner in which the public education system constructs and reinforces a particular type of deviant black masculinity with respect to black male youth. Building upon the school-to-prison pipeline scholarship, my dissertation examines the micro-processes by which public education as a state structure facilitates the movement of black male bodies into the labyrinth of the prison system. However, departing from the body of literature, I detail how the public education structure is an ideological and pragmatic extension of the organizational logic of prison.