Games Prisoners Play (häftad)
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Häftad (Paperback)
Antal sidor
Winner of Distinguished Book Award, European Academy of Sociology 2004
Princeton University Press
28 line illus. 4 tables.
228 x 158 x 12 mm
340 g
Antal komponenter
49:B&W 6.14 x 9.21 in or 234 x 156 mm (Royal 8vo) Perfect Bound on White w/Gloss Lam

Games Prisoners Play

The Tragicomic Worlds of Polish Prison

Häftad, Engelska, 2010-10-24
260 kr
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On March 11, 1985, a van was pulled over in Warsaw for a routine traffic check that turned out to be anything but routine. Inside was Marek Kaminski, a Warsaw University student who also ran an underground press for Solidarity. The police discovered illegal books in the vehicle, and in a matter of hours five secret police escorted Kaminski to jail. A sociology and mathematics major one day, Kaminski was the next a political prisoner trying to adjust to a bizarre and dangerous new world. This remarkable book represents his attempts to understand that world. As a coping strategy until he won his freedom half a year later by faking serious illness, Kaminski took clandestine notes on prison subculture. Much later, he discovered the key to unlocking that culture--game theory. Prison first appeared an irrational world of unpredictable violence and arbitrary codes of conduct. But as Kaminski shows in riveting detail, prisoners, to survive and prosper, have to master strategic decision-making. A clever move can shorten a sentence; a bad decision can lead to rape, beating, or social isolation. Much of the confusion in interpreting prison behavior, he argues, arises from a failure to understand that inmates are driven not by pathological emotion but by predictable and rational calculations. Kaminski presents unsparing accounts of initiation rituals, secret codes, caste structures, prison sex, self-injuries, and of the humor that makes this brutal world more bearable. This is a work of unusual power, originality, and eloquence, with implications for understanding human behavior far beyond the walls of one Polish prison.
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Recensioner i media

Winner of the 2004 Distinguished Book Award, European Academy of Sociology "Written with refreshing directness--funny and horrible by turns--and complemented by delightful illustrations, Games Prisoners Play ... makes a highly original contribution to the literature on prisons. The book will also prove valuable for introducing game theory... There could be no better advertisement for rational choice."--Michael Biggs, American Journal of Sociology

Bloggat om Games Prisoners Play

Övrig information

Marek M. Kaminski is Assistant Professor of Political Science and Mathematical Behavioral Science at the University of California, Irvine. Between 1982 and 1989 he managed Solidarity's underground publishing house STOP.


List of Figures xiList of Tables xiiiAcknowledgments xvIntroduction 1Chapter OneEntry 16Chapter TwoThe Constraints of Prison Life: An Overview 21Material Constraints 22Administrative Constraints 29Subcultural Constraints: A Glimpse at the World of Grypsmen 34Note on Importation versus Deprivation 37Chapter ThreeBecoming a Grypsman 38Initiation Tests 38First Screening: Fag-Making and Baptism 41Little Games 46Hidden Tests 51Prison University 54Chapter FourPrison Code of Behavior 56The Semi-Secret Code 58The Secret Code 65Sanctions and Intercaste Mobility 76Chapter FiveArgot 82Argot Vocabulary 82Argot Roles 85Secret Argot Grammar 89Language Games 95Chapter SixEveryday Life 101Random Walk through the Cell Archipelago 101Information and Trade Markets 104Coalitional Structures and Resource-Sharing 111Arenas of Art and Entertainment 116Fights and Exploitation 124Chapter SevenSex, Flirtation, Love 130Masturbation 131Fags 134Women 138Chapter EightStrategic Ailment 145Goals of Strategic Ailment 147Techniques of Strategic Ailment 149Cases of Self-Injury 155Cases of Faking 163Chapter NineExit 169Postscriptum Variants and Evolution of Grypsmen Subculture 172Local Variants and Modifications 172The Evolution of Grypsmen Subculture 178AppendixPrison Playground: Games and Decisions 183GlossaryEssential Argot 191Notes 197References 205Index 209