The prison is a site of social death and death-making. the technology of social death originates in the American institution of chattel slavery and has reemerged in the prison industrial complex. The text Prison and Social Death approaches social death in prisons through the lens of reproductive justice, but the author does so in a way that neglects the influence of race in one’s prison experience. Using the lens of necropolitics, I seek to understand how the markers of race, gender, and sexuality compound to produce experiences unique to the black woman/queer/and trans folk in the prison. Necropolitics contend that markers of identity, such as race, gender, sexuality, ability, etc., are negotiated by a governmental authority that possesses the power and technology to subject particular populations to various forms of death. The prison is one such technology of the postcolony through which it is able to exile certain subjects to “death worlds”: spaces where these folks simultaneously face social death and the threat of premature death.


Forbes, Michael


Africana Studies


African American Studies | Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies | Other American Studies | Politics and Social Change | Social Control, Law, Crime, and Deviance


black, African American, queer, lesbian, LGBTQ, trans, prison, social death, necropolitics, queer of color, afro-pessimism, youth

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis Exemplar



© Copyright 2017 Jahqwahn J. Watson