Performative Religion and Hard Labor: How Faith-Based Drug Rehabilitation Programs Operate Within the Ideological Framework of the Prison Industrial Complex

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2021
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Haverford College. Department of Religion
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Thesis
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Award
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eng
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Dark Archive until 2022-01-01, afterwards Open Access.
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Abstract
This thesis takes theoretical framings of the relation between the Prison Industrial Complex (PIC) and the Global South and extends them to reveal how non-carceral faith-based rehabilitation programs operate under the same ideological grounding of labor exploitation within the PIC. I do this through an analysis into Life Changers Outreach (LCO), a faith-based drug rehabilitation program. I will track themes of conflation between capitalism and Christianity and look to see how the dominant capitalist classes reorient institutions to distort morality in a way that falsely justifies this unpaid labor. Performative aspects of this brand of Christianity are a façade for free-market capitalist impulses that drive this exploitation of labor. Throughout this thesis, I will outline how different institutions within LCO perform religiosity in different ways, but all with the same underlying goals of maximizing extraction of profit. This performative nature does not change the affect for the audience of the performer, but it has exploitative implications.
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