Exploring the ‘Socio’ or Socio‐Legal Studies. By Dermot Feenan. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013. 307pp. $105 Cloth.

Published date01 December 2015
Date01 December 2015
Justice Kennedy’s majority opinion certainly promotes dignity, Jus-
tice Scalia’s opinion uses dehumanizing language, referring to peo-
ple in prison as “fine physical specimens” (p. 166). Perhaps Aviram
is correct to be skeptical, as the language of dignity was noticeably
absent from the Supreme Court’s punishment and corrections cases
during the 2014–2015 term. Instead she argues that the language
of cost, particularly if it is framed in inclusive terms, has the poten-
tial to effect “real, lasting change” (p. 170). Although many will
question the optimistic note on which it ends, Cheap on Crime makes
a valuable contribution to the literature on mass incarceration and
is a must-read for those seeking explanations for the significant
changes that have occurred in American corrections over the last 5
Brown v.Plata, 131 S. Ct. 1910 (2011).
Beckett, Katherine (1997) Making Crime Pay: Law and Order in Contemporary American Poli-
tics. New York:Oxford University Press.
Chettiar, Inimai, & Michael Waldman, eds. (2015) Solutions: American Leaders Speak Out
on Criminal Justice. New York:Brennan Center for Justice.
Keller,Bill (2015) “Profiles: Prison Revolt,” The New Yorker, June 29, 2015.
Simon, Jonathan (2007) Governing Through Crime: How the War on Crime Transformed
American Democracy and Created a Culture of Fear. New York: Oxford University
——— (2014) Mass Incarceration on Trial: A Remarkable Court Decision and the Future of
Prisons in America. New York:The New Press.
Exploring the ‘Socio’ or Socio-Legal Studies. By Dermot Feenan. New
York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013. 307pp. $105 Cloth.
Reviewed by Aaron R.S. Lorenz, Dean, School of Social Science and
Human Services, Ramapo College
In this book, legal scholar and research fellow in law, Dermot Feenan,
corrals some of the leading scholars in the field of law and society,
legalstudies,aswellasthefocusof the book, sociolegal studies. In
writing this review, I found myself initially wanting to simply write
that sociolegal studies is a method scholars use to simplify their expla-
nation of what they research. However, each scholar, beginning with
Feenan, clearly introduces and explains that the “socio” plays a
Book Reviews 1037

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