Publication Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

11-2008

Abstract

This article begins by seeking an explanation for the solidarity between Malay inmates and guards in perpetrating abusive and discriminatory treatment towards Malay transvestites. In the course of explaining an empirical phenomenon in the Singapore prison, this article has examined Singapore's history and ethnic demography, the ethnic Malay minority's lack of socio-economic development and modernisation vis-a-vis the ethnic Chinese majority, geo-politics, the ideology and strategic choices of the state's political elite and their implications for inter-ethnic interactions between Malays and Chinese. As this article will argue, prison culture, rather than being divorced from larger society, is in effect able to articulate and elaborate on the processes of social exclusion faced by ethnic Malay minorities and male transvestites in Singapore society. By shifting the conceptual focus from 'prison in society' to prison of society', a new analytical dimension of informal inmate culture and social structure has been realised; one which suggests immense possibilities for prison literature.

Keywords

Masculinity, Discrimination in criminal justice administration, Prisoners, Sexual behavior, Malays, Singapore

Discipline

Asian Studies | Law and Race | Race and Ethnicity | Race, Ethnicity and Post-Colonial Studies

Research Areas

Sociology

Publication

Current Issues in Criminal Justice

Volume

20

Issue

2

First Page

243

Last Page

264

ISSN

2206-9542

Publisher

University of Sydney, Institute of Criminology

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.