Abu Ghraib as a Microcosm: The Strange Face of Empire as a Lived Prison
Mohammad H. Tamdgidi published the refereed article titled “Abu Ghraib as a Microcosm: The Strange Face of Empire as a Lived Prison,” in Sociological Spectrum, vol. 27, issue 1, 2007:29-55.
Drawing on Derrida, Foucault, Dorothy Smith, Anzaldúa, Wallerstein, Said, and Gurdjieff, among others, this article argues that the strangeness of Abu Ghraib—“father of the strange (or of the stranger)”—has less to do with what went on inside the prison, and more with the global prison yard. Strange is how we, global spectators of the prison abuses, continue to stand on shaky cardboard boxes of rising and falling empires, with hoods of amnesia and evasion put on our minds, and sophisticated media wires of true or false fears manipulating our emotions. To escape from prison, a mystic once said, one must first realize one is in prison. The inquiry is used as grounds for advancing a discourse on Newtonian and quantal sociological imaginations in favor of a Sociology of Self-knowledge.