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Catching our breath: critical race STS and the carceral imagination

Author(s): Benjamin, Ruha

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Abstract: This article draws together science and technology studies and critical race theory to examine the proliferation and intensification of carceral approaches to governing human life. It argues for an expansive understanding of “the carceral” that extends well beyond the domain of policing, to include forms of containment that make innovation possible in the contexts of health and medicine, education and employment, border policies and virtual realities. In interrogating the relationship between innovation and containment, it urges scholars to consider, who and what are fixed in place––classified, corralled, and/or coerced—to enable technoscientific development? Finally, it proposes the cultivation of an abolitionist consciousness that fosters human agency and freedom with and against sciences and technologies.
Publication Date: 1-Jul-2016
Citation: Benjamin, Ruha. "Catching our breath: critical race STS and the carceral imagination." Engaging Science, Technology, and Society 2 (2016): 145-156.
DOI: doi:10.17351/ests2016.70
Pages: 145 - 156
Language: English
Type of Material: Journal Article
Journal/Proceeding Title: Engaging Science, Technology, and Society
Version: Final published version. This is an open access article.

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