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Hidden Truth takes the reader inside a Rhode Island juvenile prison to explore broader questions of how poor, disenfranchised young men come to terms with masculinity and identity. Adam D. Reich, who worked with inmates to produce a newspaper, writes vividly and memorably about the young men he came to know, and in the process extends theories of masculinity, crime, and social reproduction into a provocative new paradigm. Reich suggests that young men's participation in crime constitutes a game through which they achieve “outsider masculinity.” Once in prison these same youths are forced to reconcile their criminal practices with a new game and new “insider masculinity” enforced by guards and administrators.
List of Illustrations
Introduction: Playing at Masculinity
Part I / Outsider Masculinity
Chapter 1. Outsider Masculinity and the Game of Outlaw
Chapter 2. Investment and Pure Critique
Part II / Insider Masculinity
Chapter 3. Insider Masculinity and the Game of Law
Chapter 4. Adapting to the Game of Law
Part III / Critical Practice
Chapter 5. The Hidden TREWTH and the Possibility of Critical Practice
Chapter 6. Alternative Space and Its Limits
Conclusion: Critical Practice and Public Policy
Adam D. Reich is a doctoral student at the University of California, Berkeley.
"Adam Reich provides a nuanced, powerful and novel interpretation of masculinity and marginality in the lives of inmates in and out of juvenile prison. Hidden Truth is an indictment of a society that provides precious few avenues to a more rewarding life and a stunning example of what an imaginative social scientist can do to illuminate these sad, frustrating realities."—Katherine Newman, coauthor of Who Cares? Public Ambivalence and Government Activism from the New Deal to the Second Gilded Age
"Adam Reich offers an intellectually sophisticated and passionately sensitive analysis of masculinities as situated accomplishments—especially through his captivating conception of hybrid masculinities and critical practice—by a group of young male offenders. Engaging, fascinating and thought-provoking, Hidden Truth is essential reading for criminology, masculinities and gender studies scholars. I highly recommend this important and timely work!"—James W. Messerschmidt, University of Southern Maine
"Hidden Truth is exceptionally well-written. The characters in the story come alive, and the text moves deftly between empirical detail and reflection. This study makes a real contribution to our thinking about masculinities and the connection between gender and crime and incarceration among poor youth."—Raewyn Connell, author of Gender (Key Concepts) and Southern Theory
"Through his impressive formulations of 'the game of law' and 'the game of outlaw', Adam Reich shows us how definitions of masculinity are central to the formation and reproduction of youth criminality. This elegant analysis of gendered institutional and individual practices points us toward social and penal reforms that are more than just band-aid solutions. This study is absolutely a must read for those who work with at-risk and incarcerated youth."—C.J. Pascoe, author of Dude, You're a Fag: Masculinity and Sexuality in High School
"Reich weaves a narrative that balances the thoughts, stories and perspectives of these young, incarcerated men with sophisticated sociological analysis. He adeptly illustrates why it is important to first understand the complex pressures and realities of those directly affected by the juvenile justice system. Every activist, organizer and policy maker working to change the current system should read this book."—Gary Delgado, Applied Research Center
"In this highly personal recounting, Adam Reich reminds us that the youth prison, and the criminal lives it anchors, profoundly shapes the forms of masculinity available to young men in American's most disadvantaged communities. Reich's analysis is not only deconstructive, Hidden Truth offers the possibility of a restorative masculinity. This is raw and moving sociology in the tradition of Goffman, Becker, and Katz."—Jonathan Simon, UC Berkeley Boalt Hall
"Adam Reich's graceful prose builds a bridge between two worlds—his own, as a privileged child of the American upper-middle class; and, that of the mainly black and Hispanic boys from low-income urban neighborhoods who were inmates at that facility. This 'hidden truth' in this book is that, because he never loses sight of their humanity, he is able more fully to express his own."—Glenn C. Loury, author of The Anatomy of Racial Inequality
"Operating amid a juvenile justice system that has more to do with managed risk and manipulation than with any moral content, Adam Reich has brought forth a disturbing vision of young men who have clarity and intelligence enough to know that they are playing a rigged game. By delving into the souls of juvenile offenders in Providence, Reich has given voice to every fundamental hypocrisy in our approach to young men born without agency or opportunity in America as a whole. These are the children of the other America, living and dying by other rules. They are aware that they are no longer necessary to what remains of our post-industrial economy, no longer essential for their nation, their society. They are uneducated and to a large extent unemployable. But they are not fooled. And here, through the careful work of Mr. Reich, is Hidden Truth—their collective voice."—David Simon, creator of The Wire
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