SURF

Eva Hannan

Feminization of Labor in the U.S. Prison-Industrial Complex

My project follows two trends that have developed since the 1970s and appear to converge on the site of the imprisoned female body. The first trend is the globalized “feminization of labor,” where large numbers of women join the workforce. The second is the increasing number of females incarcerated within the United States. Specifically, I want to examine the rhetoric of records and documents concerning the female prison laborer. I am interested to see how the language that dictates the subjectivity of women in prison has shifted, as its population has increased over time, and in comparison to their male counterparts. I will examine public records from government agencies and corporations, contracts for prison labor, news coverage and political messaging. I will look for patterns and trends in language that describe these women, their labor and their imprisonment.

Message to Sponsor

To the Anselm Fund, Thank you so much for your generous contribution to undergraduate research at UC Berkeley. The SURF program enabled me to spend the summer immersed in the research process, increasing the depth and potential impact of my project. Additionally, watching my cohorts develop and evolve enabled me to have a greater understanding of the flexibility necessary to sustain such a project, the scope such projects can embody, and the incredible capacity for richness and subtlety within this type of academic inquiry. Thank you for allowing me to invest this time in my own research as well as the research of others. It is my hope that my project will engender change in the prison industrial complex in the United States, and if I can make a meaningful contribution to this field then this is significantly enabled by your generosity to honors thesis students such as myself. These opportunities are much appreciated by the students here at UC Berkeley!
  • Major: Rhetoric
  • Sponsor: Anselm Fund
  • Mentor: Marianne Constable