We can work on Case Study: When Politics Trumps Policy

For 2 years, you have been director of a prison system for adults in a medium-sized state. As a result of revenue shortfalls for several years, it has been a constant struggle to keep a full labor force in your state’s 10 prisons and to lure professional staff members to work and live in the more rural areas where they are located. During the past 6 months, however, you have managed to assemble a fine staff of wardens and other subordinates in the prisons and have implemented a number of policies that provide for educational, vocational, and treatment opportunities, which have been gaining national attention for their effectiveness. Recidivism has been reduced to 30 percent, and your policies are beginning to be accepted by staff and citizens alike. Running a “Take Back the Streets” anticrime campaign, a politically inexperienced person (formerly a popular college quarterback playing at a state university) was recently elected governor. The new governor has just sent you a letter stating in effect that your institution is not the “Ritz” and demanding that all “frivolous, namby-pamby programs teaching the ABCs and where cons learn how to hammer nails” cease immediately. He asks for your written response, a plan for tightening security, and the implementation of tougher inmate programs within 1 month.

Is there any room to negotiate with the governor? As a trade-off, would you offer to put in place some programs that are known to be tough on inmates? If so, what kind?

Sample Solution

Nearly the entire history of writing is confounded with the history of reason, of which it is at once the effect, the support, and one of the privileged alibis. It has been one with the phallocentric tradition. It is indeed that same self-admiring, self-stimulating, self congratulatory phallocentricism. This same theme is continued in the essay ‘This Sex Which is Not One’ (1985) by Luce Irigaray where the example of the female genitals is cited as existing as an intensive binary, each part relying and drawing stimulation from the other, thus challenging the oneness and singularity of the phallus. Irigaray also makes the point that, for female sexuality, touch is more meaningful that vision, the first suggestion that there maybe some cross over between the critiques of sexual difference and representation. As Owens (1983) suggests, postmodernity and the critique of representation also aimed to challenge the accepted (male dominated) field of vision by, firstly, exposing the links that exist between representation and phallocentricism and then by asserting the value of multi-perspectives, multiple readings and other modes of viewing. The postmodern image, as Jameson (1991) states, is one that has lost its originary connection to a real world and exists instead in a circuit of self referencing images whereby “The world…momentarily loses its depth and threatens to become a glossy skin, a stereoscopic illusion, a rush of filmic images without density.” The postmodern image elides notions such as authenticity and distinct critical reading because it has lost what Benjamin (2008) described as the aura of original authorial intent. Commensurate with notions such as the death of author (Barthes, 1988) the postmodern critical position asserts the validity of multiple readings and the inherent intertextual nature of image and text, as Owens (1983) states: It is precisely at the legislative frontier between what can be represented and what can cannot that the postmodernist operation is being staged not in order to transcend representation, but in order to expose the system of power that authorizes certain representations while blocking, prohibiting or invalidating others. Among those prohibited from Western representation, whose representations are denied legitimacy, are women. The critique of sexual difference, then, and the critique of representation are inextricably linked, being as they are both attempts at challenging traditional modernist and phallocentric modes of thinking. Each can be viewed as a strategy that seeks to overcome not only specific areas (gender inequality, monolithic modes of representation etc) but the regime that provides their ground. Each attempts to do this through a series of critical re-framings and theoretical positions tha>

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