This article begins by seeking an explanation for the solidarity between Malay inmatesand guards in perpetrating abusive and discriminatory treatment towards Malaytransvestites. In the course of explaining an empirical phenomenon in the Singaporeprison, this article has examined Singapore's history and ethnic demography, the ethnicMalay minority's lack of socio-economic development and modernisation vis-A-vis theethnic Chinese majority, geo-politics, the ideology and strategic choices of the state'spolitical elite and their implications for inter-ethnic interactions between Malays andChinese. As this article will argue, prison culture, rather than being divorced from largersociety, is in effect able to articulate and elaborate on the processes of social exclusionfaced by ethnic Malay minorities and male transvestites in Singapore society. By shiftingthe conceptual focus from 'prison in society' to prison of society', a new analyticaldimension of informal inmate culture and social structure has been realised; one whichsuggests immense possibilities for prison literature.
Law and Race | Race and Ethnicity | Race, Ethnicity and Post-Colonial Studies
Current Issues in Criminal Justice
University of Sydney, Institute of Criminology
HANIF, Nafis.(2008). Prison’s spoilt identities: Racially structured realities within and beyond. Current Issues in Criminal Justice, 40(4), 243-264.
Available at: http://ink.library.smu.edu.sg/soss_research/2221
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