The society-of-captives thesis and the harm of social dis-ease

The case of Guantánamo Bay

Authored by: Bruce A. Arrigo , Heather Y. Bersot

The Routledge Handbook of International Crime and Justice Studies

Print publication date:  August  2013
Online publication date:  August  2013

Print ISBN: 9780415781787
eBook ISBN: 9780203837146
Adobe ISBN: 9781136868504


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In two recent books (Arrigo and Milovanovic 2009; Arrigo et al. 2011), the authors suggest a provocative thesis concerning their identification of a pervasive and insidious social pathology or dis-ease. 1 This pathology is the “ultramodern” madness (Arrigo 2011a; in press) that sustains (rather than overcomes) the captivity of a society imprisoned by its hyper-vigilant fears and panoptic desperations. The etiology of this dis-ease is sourced within a struggle involving the social person (the self/society mutuality) and the interactive and interdependent forces this mutuality anxiously experiences and dangerously reifies. These forces are symbolic, linguistic, material and cultural in composition. They represent the constituents of the ultramodern condition (e.g., Arrigo 2010; 2011b).

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