Moral Time. By Donald Black. New York: Oxford University Press, 2011. 288 pp. $29.95 cloth.

Published date01 June 2015
Date01 June 2015
lack in Virginia women’s prisons of job training offered in men’s
prisons, to the ubiquity of coercive sex and assault for transgen-
der and born women, to the differential weight of imprisonment
on mothers and fathers under varied family visitation policies.
Tellingly, Larson received no essays from private for-profit pris-
ons. This absence is alarming, raising questions about conditions
inside institutions that are even more restrictive, less subject to
public oversight, and that dominate the treatment of juvenile
In short, this collection is provocative and highly topical. It
will be useful for those working on prison abolition and reform,
those seeking to ameliorate or completely overhaul our justice
system, and those with a general or personal interest in the actual
experience and textured voices of those incarcerated in American
prisons. For legal studies scholars, these accounts may be particu-
larly interesting—both because they offer detailed situated-
knowledge-based recommendations for rethinking our vast
prison architecture, and because many exemplify legal autodidac-
ticism. For scholars of social inequality, these essays offer personal
accounts of the impact on individual experiences and interperso-
nal relationships of increasingly large institutions, public policy
shifts, and institutionalized oppression. Finally, this collection will
be especially valuable for teaching across many fields, from law
and literature to social inequality and social justice. Larson has
done us a service in making these accounts accessible in this
affordable and riveting edition.
Moral Time. By Donald Black. New York: Oxford University Press,
2011. 288 pp. $29.95 cloth.
Reviewed by Amanda Admire and Dinur Blum, Department of
Sociology, University of California, Riverside
In Donald Black’s Moral Time (2011), the key concept—social
time—is akin to the holy grail of conflict theory. Social time
explains all conflict, causes all conflict, and is ever-present. The
concept of social time, as the dynamic dimension of social space is
formulated in terms of fluctuations in/of relational, vertical, and
cultural dimensions. Although Black’s analysis of conflict is
confined to a micro realm, as his examples focus on conflict
546 Book Reviews

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