Dr Ashley T. Rubin, Associate Professor of Sociology, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa

“The ‘Curious Eclipse’ of Carceral Ethnography in International Comparison: Trends Across the US, Canada, and the UK.”

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In the early 2000s, U.S. prison scholars sounded the alarm about declining access to carceral facilities and a move away from traditional micro-sociologies of prison. This twin shift has often been discussed in comparison to the apparently better access prison scholars in other countries have enjoyed in the same period.

However, many scholars in those countries tend to disagree with this assessment, noting their own countries’ sparse carceral research terrains. Building on two previous studies of U.S. dissertations, this study interrogates these competing pieces of lore by comparing trends in U.S. doctoral dissertations using carceral research to trends in English-language doctoral dissertations from Canada, Ireland, and the UK in 1980–2019.

Bio: Ashley Rubin is an associate professor of Sociology at University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. She holds a PhD in Jurisprudence and Social Policy. Rubin’s research examines the dynamics of penal change throughout US history. She is the author of The Deviant Prison (Cambridge University Press, 2021) and Rocking Qualitative Social Science (Stanford University Press, 2021).