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Ear Hustling: Lessons from a Prison Podcast

  • Dawn K. CecilEmail author
Chapter
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Abstract

Today’s media culture offers various types of representations of prison life. Most often people outside this system create these depictions. Historically, one exception has been personal narratives written by those who have served time. These tales can show a side of prison life not possible from the point of view of an outsider. Technological advances have contributed to a new form of this type of storytelling—the prison podcast. In particular, Ear Hustle, an award-winning, prisoner-produced podcast, has drawn a lot of attention for its uniqueness. Produced behind the walls of San Quentin prison in California, it offers listeners insight into prison life from the perspective of those living it. Ear Hustle introduces them to a variety of prison topics and serves to humanize the inmate population. The purpose of this chapter is to examine at one of the newest expressions of popular prison representations by examining the contents of Ear Hustle and other prison podcasts (e.g., Written Inside, Prison Diaries, Decarcerated). It will use qualitative content analysis determine what types of prison-related topics are being covered, to identify underlying messages contained within these narratives, and to determine how these messages are similar to or different from other types of popular depictions of prison life.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of South Florida St. PetersburgSt. PetersburgUSA

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