Maintaining the Prison-Industrial Complex: Private Actors and Power : A Multi-Dimensional Power Analysis of CoreCivic and The GEO Group    

Detta är en Kandidat-uppsats från Linnéuniversitetet/Institutionen för samhällsstudier (SS)

Sammanfattning: Several scholars have studied the Prison-Industrial Complex (PIC) since the late 1990s. However, there is a lack of research on how private actors profiting from the PIC, such as private prisons, are maintaining and sustaining it. This study explores how private prisons utilise different forms of power to maintain the PIC by shedding light on which real, structural, and soft powers CoreCivic and The GEO Group (the two largest private prison companies in America) are utilising to sustain the PIC. This will be done by analysing CoreCivic and The GEO group through the lens of Steven Lukes’ framework - Three Dimensions of Power. The study has been conducted as a qualitative desk and case study following abductive reasoning. The data have been analysed employing both text and discourse analysis. While the companies unquestionably use structural power, primarily through lobbying, to maintain and sustain the PIC, it can only be suggested how they have employed real and soft power. The companies use real power mainly to ensure high-profit margins. It can thus, be suggested that the companies are indirectly maintaining the PIC by simply ensuring continued profitability. Finally, the study suggests how the companies are employing soft power to upkeep the PIC. By portraying themselves to the American society in a more positive way, contradictory to how they operate, the companies ensure continued support by society, which is vital for their continued existence. 

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