Prison uniforms on the outside: Intersections with US popular culture | Intellect Skip to content
1981
Volume 7, Issue 4
  • ISSN: 2050-0726
  • E-ISSN: 2050-0734

Abstract

With the United States having the highest rate of incarceration in the world – peaking in 2008 at 755 prisoners for every 100,000 residents – it is not surprising that American popular culture is saturated with images of prison. Although the experience of being in prison is associated with humiliation, punishment and a lack of choice (which is antithetical to the existence of fashion), numerous films, television shows, music videos, designers and retailers have demystified and even glamorized the ‘look’ of prison. This article explores how Americans outside of prison are able to engage with this imagery – not just as passive consumers of media, but through buying and wearing prison uniform costumes, fashions inspired by prison uniforms, clothing made by prisoners and clothing formerly worn by prisoners.

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2020-10-01
2024-03-04
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Keyword(s): costume; fashion; film; inmate; prison; retail; uniform
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