Dissertations, Theses and Capstone Projects

Date of Award

Spring 2011

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in American Studies (MAST)


American Studies

First Advisor

Dr. LeeAnn Lands

Second Advisor

Dr. Reta Ugena Whitlock

Third Advisor

Dr. Rebecca Hill


The power hierarchy established within the Georgia Department of Corrections exerts an excess of control over the bodies of women, regulating not only their bodies through community isolation, that is, imprisonment, but also simultaneously denying women their right to form intimate relationships. Especially vigilant over same-sex relationships, the institution enforces a heteronomative value system, punishing consenual intimate contact among inmates and thus reinforcing--indeed, endorsing, a state-sanctified hegemony of heteronomativity. The Georgia DOC projects itself as a social response to crime; however, it is also, clearly, an instrument of the perpetuation of cultural norms and a place wherein dominant religous views about life, death and sex are (ad)ministered. Conservative Christian ideology, pervasive in the Georgia prison system, is used to control women's bodies as well as to continue to frame them as "fallen women". This paper examines the conditions of sexual and religious control of Georgia's Women's Prisons.

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