Sunday, February 26, 2012

Sandford Prison Experiment Question #9

9. Do you think that kids from an urban working class environment would have broken down emotionally in the same way as did our middle-class prisoners? Why? What about women?

An environment always has a strong impact on how a person acts. Their surrounds influences them to become who they are. If this experiment was done with kids from an urban working class environment I think they would act different from the middle-class prisoners. People that tend to grow up in a more urban environment tend to be more "tough". They are less sheltered by their parents and are exposed to a harsher reality. I feel that because they undergo rougher day to day living situations they would be able to cope with the jail environment better. Kids growing up in an urban environment are more likely to have gone to jail before 21 or are use to being harassed by police. These experiences would be similar to how the middle class prisoners were being treated by the jail guards. This should not be confused for meaning that they would not feel the same way the middle class prisoners did but only suggest that maybe they would have not mentally broken down as quickly. I think emotionally they would feel the same way but just last longer.  Most of the middle class prisoners had never been to jail before or had any issues with law enforcement. They were never put in a situation like that before and it was a combination of a new environment, fear, and anger. 

1 comment:

daunish said...

Would kids from a lower class environment have a better chance at surviving in a prison situation, as opposed to kids from a middle class upbringing? I don't think that in a general sense kids from a working class would have a better chance of surviving life within a prison. However, I do think that they would handle specific stressors better. They would in all likelihood have a better chance enduring physical hardships with the prison. The reason for this is obviously because in their life, the have probably worked harder than the middle class kids. I think that both classes of kids would fair the same when it came to the emotion stresses. Once again this is based on the kids having a normal upbringing. I think that if we say that kids from a lower class have a more difficult and turbulent childhood at home. Then they would stand a better chance at surviving a prison system. We can see this from our current prison system. Lower class crimes get people sent to blue collar prisons, while middle class crimes get you sent to white collar prisons. I’m not saying all lower class members commit blue collar crimes, nor am I saying that everyone in the middle class commits white collar crimes. I am just making general statements.

How would women react when put in this sort of situation. I think that we would still see that women put into the prisoner role would react similar to men placed into that role. However I think that women placed into the role of guard would be different than their male counterparts. I believe we would be able to see this the best in the women who took on the roles of the “bad” guard. I think that unlike the men, the would not enforce their power through physical punishment and torture. I think that they would use more psychological and emotional means to break their captives. We can see this when we look at photos of the Abu Ghraib prison. The men in the photos are shown beating the prisoners and physically torturing them. While the women are shown humiliating and dehumanizing their captives.