DOI link for Introduction
This project is a study of discourses about criminalized, reentering, and employable women, and the ways these discourses shape the experiences of reentering women and limit their opportunities. The introductory chapter explains why employability matters for women’s reentry and how employability fits in the context of the governance and discipline of women. A profile of incarcerated and reentering women is provided, as is an overview of this research project and its theoretical foundations. There are uniquely gendered aspects of reintegration employment that are not adequately addressed in dominant ‘employment as redemptive’ scripts. This book identifies three of these: (1) the intersecting stigmas of gender and criminalization that restrict employment opportunities in structural and interpersonal ways for women; (2) the incompatibilities in governing approaches to women as broken and disempowered yet responsible for their own reform and success; and (3) the ambivalence about women’s economic roles and responsibilities which result in conflicting narratives about women’s roles as caregivers, partners, and wage-earners.