Chapter

Prisoners and Prison Society

Peter Zinoman

in The Colonial Bastille

Published by University of California Press

Published in print April 2001 | ISBN: 9780520224124
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520925175 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520224124.003.0005
Prisoners and Prison Society

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This chapter describes the ways in which inmates adapted creatively to colonial prison conditions in French Indochina on a daily basis and how the experience of incarceration contributed to the modernization of the social and political consciousness of segments of the prison population. It examines the ways in which the experience of imprisonment encouraged the growth of characteristically modern forms of social and political consciousness among certain segments of the inmate population. It suggests that prisons seemed to have encouraged in certain inmates an unusual degree of confidence in their ability to understand the true nature of colonial society at large and, by implication, their capacity to transform it.

Keywords: colonial prison; prison conditions; French Indochina; incarceration; prison population; colonial society

Chapter.  15329 words. 

Subjects: Asian History

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