Black Attitudes in Prison: A Sociological Analysis

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This study examined attitudes of black inmates at two institutions located in different sections of the United States. The attitudinal dimensions considered were black radicalism, race cohesiveness, class consciousness, the soul orientation, and allegiance to the inmate code. It was determined that despite the regional location of the institutions, there was considerable similarity regarding the relationship of the attitude sets to various pre-prison experiences and background factors, violence in prison, and type of offense. With respect to socialization effects, the nature of the institutional environment appeared to have a major impact upon the inmate's attitudinal orientation. The implications of the findings for the "Importation vs. Functional Adaptation" debate concerning the origins of inmate attitudes and behaviors are discussed.