One ‘obvious’ focus for this book would have been to have presented in an early chapter a single theory explaining the origins of prison riots. Unfortunately, no such theory has been produced to date and there is no ready agreement among researchers even about what questions to ask and the perspective from which to address them. This is not surprising, given the contested concept of riots and their changing nature over the years. So, this chapter has a more limited objective. It deals first with a number of general problems which need to be addressed in explaining prison riots before different theories of their origins are assessed. Then it simply puts forward, in the light of the research and theories reviewed, the ingredients considered essential to an adequate explanation of them.
KeywordsCollective Action Black People Relative Deprivation Social Disorganization Resource Mobilization
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