CODE Seminar: Race, Class and Gender and the School-to-Prison Pipeline: Does School Prepare Men for Prison?
|Dates:||30 January 2020|
|Times:||12:00 - 13:00|
|What is it:||Seminar|
|Organiser:||Centre on Dynamics of Ethnicity (CoDE)|
|Who is it for:||University staff, External researchers, Adults, Alumni, Current University students|
|Speaker:||Dr Karen Graham|
The potential link between educational ‘failure’ and offending is perennially debated. Research and popular discourses tend to focus on the community, cultural or family backgrounds from which the children who ‘fail’ come, and/or on provision for those ‘at risk’ of school and social exclusion. These discussions often prioritise the apparent significance of race, class and gender, indicated by the over-representation of poor, male, Black students in punitive school disciplinary processes and a parallel disproportionality in the criminal justice system. However, many of these approaches assume educational systems to be intrinsically good and consider cases of educational failure to be anomalies that require ironing out. This seminar will summarise a piece of research that takes a different view. It will draw on classic sociological theories of unequal reproduction through education and life history research with former prisoners collected for a doctoral thesis.
Through the former prisoners’ narratives, the exclusionary practices and processes that were the main feature of their schooling are vividly brought to life. We see the arbitrary nature of the behaviour expectations applied to four and five year old boys who teachers identify as potentially challenging. We see the resulting increased surveillance and restrictions to educational opportunities. We see the introduction to physical spaces of isolation and the segregation from peers; and all this before they reach their seventh birthday. The remaining trajectory through schooling until they almost inevitably exit with poor or no qualifications is marked by unrelenting within-school exclusion and in most cases several significant official exclusions. For some of the men, these expulsions from school led to them being removed from their families and placed in boarding schools for children with behavioural problems.
When describing their experiences of prison, it is evident that in many ways these are an extension of their prior institutional (schooling) experiences.
These rarely articulated stories lead to difficult questions about the purposes of the types of exclusions they faced and the connections between social control and education. The seminar will also ask us to deeply consider what an exploration of the school-to-prison pipeline can tell us about the entire education system.
This seminar is presented by Dr Karen Graham, Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Education, Manchester Metropolitan University
Dr Karen Graham
Role: Senior Lecturer
Organisation: Manchester Metropolitan University
Travel and Contact Information
Humanities Bridgeford Street