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An Analysis Of Oz

2716 words - 11 pages

Central to the second season of Oz are two major course themes covered throughout the semester: the gap between criminal and social justice and the requirement of social deviance. Characters of interest involving these themes include Kareem Said, Kipekimi Jara, Simon Adebisi, Governor Devlin, and Jiggy Walker. Within the second season of Oz, prisoners are able to produce social justice and use social deviance to set the actions and culture of the prison population. Social justice is officially defined as this: “the distribution of advantages and disadvantages within a society” (, np). Throughout the semester, it has been stated that there is a gap between criminal justice and social justice. Basically, we as a class through discussion and weekly reading folders have allowed the following reality to nestle into our brains: criminal justice is achieved by pouncing on those who have disadvantageous resource access, physically and emotionally. Within the second season of Oz, it is somewhat apparent that the creators of the television show are attempting to exemplify that the prisoners viewed in both Emerald City and gen pop are capable of creating social justice, very similar to the ideas that “one man can make a difference” and “ anybody is capable of anything.” As is apparent, prisoners are able to produce social justice, but are also able to represent elements of the carceral society and prison-industrial complex through production of docile bodies either by choice or by coercion from correctional bodies.
The first character that represents the idea of prisoners producing social justice while in prison is through Kipekimi Jara. This man is able to produce social justice in two separate ways within the prison, directly through Adebisi and indirectly from Adebisi’s actions. As stated above, social justice is defined as “the advantages and disadvantages within a society.” Aside from sounding stale in terms of the common message, Jara was the family of Adebisi. Adebisi was specifically instructed by Sister Peter Marie to come to drug counseling and to “stop hiding from something.” Throughout the episodes in which Jara is present, he not only prevents Adebisi from murdering the new Italian crew, but actually is able to sit down with Adebisi in the library and talk of the African culture that Simon has “been hiding from.” Adebisi, as implied through his fifteen years in America and Jara’s reference to this, his been deprived of the advantages that the African culture of which Jara is a part provides. As a result, Simon wears the tribal cap from Jara and is seen both before and after Jara’s death visualizing tribal dances, one of which he performs. Adebisi even tells Sister Peter Marie that “…for the first time since I have been in Oz, I feel like I have found family.” Further evidence of this social justice produced by Jara through Adebisi is written of by Reiman. Reiman includes a quotation from Robert Johnson and Hans Toch that...

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