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January 2022

Personal narratives and young men in prison: Labeling the outside inside

Journal/Book: West J Comm. 1996; 60: Univ Utah, Communication Dept, Salt Lake City, UT 84112. Western States Communication Assoc. 57-75.

Abstract: Young men in prison constitute a unique population living with a dichotomous identity. Inside the prison, and from a dominant cultural perspective, the young men are criminals. In their communities, they are the ''homeboys.'' This essay explores the complications of identity in the context of a communication education course in performing personal narratives. The naming of the criminal, the criminal body as a site of punishment, urban mythology, and language are issues addressed. The analysis is based in principles of labeling, class struggle, and corporal punishment. The essay argues for the construction of personal narratives that are based in the identity of the story teller as a homeboy rather than a criminal.

Note: Article FC Corey, Arizona State Univ, Tempe, AZ 85287 USA

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