Link to What's New This Week A New Reading of the Texts that Define The Consequences of Conviction for a Felony

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Shared Reading:
Consequences of Conviction for a Felony

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California State University, Dominguez Hills
University of Wisconsin, Parkside
Created: September 18, 2004
Latest Update: September 18, 2004

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Index of Topics on Site A New Reading of the Texts that Define The Consequences of Conviction for a Felony

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  • Susan and I wanted to share this reading with you because few of us know the history of this ruling. So much in our world today is still linked by privilege and perspective to racism that we often claim is no longer with us. We would like you to consider how illocutionary and governance discourse could help us as a people face up to this issue and its consequences.


  • We would like you to come away from this reading with an explanation you could give quickly even to a stranger of some of the oppressive consequences of incarceration in this country.

Concepts and Key Words:

  • felony: a crime that can be punished by at least one year in jail. We need this time-served definition because states define felonies differently. The one year in jail provides a common definition.
  • disenfranchised: Denied the right to vote.
  • disengagement: The technical term for slamming the door in your psychological life space.


Discussion Questions:

  1. Why?

    Things to be considered in answer.

  2. Do you think?

    Some clue to what you were thinking about.

Conceptual Linking to Substantive Courses:

  • Agencies:
    Sample linking: Ways in which underlying assumptions of assimilation affect services offered and clients' ability to access and use those services. How does this reading illustrate the need for social agencies, for more generalized agencies, for what Bolman and Deal would call "leadership" AND "management"? How does this reading suggest ways in which we could be more effective in rendering help, and what is the reading's relationship to a "safety net" for those who need help?

  • Criminal Justice:
    Sample linking: Ways in which some groups are underrepresented in the unstated assumptions of our theories. How does this reading serve to illustrate adversarialism, mutuality, retribution, revenge, illocutionary understanding, the definition and operation of the criminal justice system?

  • Law:
    Sample linking: Extent to which laws are made on the assumption that we are all essentially assimilated to the dominant culture. How does this reading help us see the need for contextual readings in law? How does it relate to our natural instincts to seek some kind of natural law? What facts and principles does the reading offer for discourse that could clarify for Others validity claims presented by an Obscure Other?

  • Moot Court:
    Sample linking: Ways in which to make validty claims of harm understood by those who have never experienced many of the world's different perspectives. How can this reading enlighten our praxis in terms of different kinds of discourse, like instrumental, illocutionary, governance?

  • Women in Poverty:
    Sample linking: The culture of poverty and assimilation. How does the reading deal with our underlying assumptions about poverty, especially poverty of the exploited, the NOT- male? What does the reading suggest of the interrelationship between our society and its children, generally cared for by women, often poor?

  • Race, Gender, Class:
    Sample linking: The extent to which silence has been imposed by these affiliations so that domination and discrimination have entered our unstated assumptions in interpersonal relations and the structural context arising from them. What does the reading tell us about exploitation and alternative ways to deal with one another? What does it tell us about institutionalized -isms and our denial of complicity? What does it tell us about our common humanity?

  • Religion:
    Sample linking: The spiritual component. Humans are spiritual creatures, creatures that recognize moments that go beyond ourselves to God, Allah, Isis, Gaia, the Universe, or a deep sense of responsibility to create our own meanng. How does the reading fit into our ability, our need to create such meaning in life?

  • Love !A:
    Sample linking: What's the aesthetic link in this reading? How does it bring us closer to one another as humans? What does it tell us about our need for love, unconditional love, not rewards for doing well or being well, but caring and acceptance for being who we are?

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