Philip Goodman


Phone: 905-569-4594

Office: 725 Spadina; Rm. 268

UTM Office: DV3238


Philip Goodman

Associate Professor


Professor Goodman uses prisons and punishment—and crime, criminal justice, and law, more generally—as lenses through which to consider questions of inequality, social structures, and the micro-dynamics of everyday life. At the heart of his scholarship is an attempt to ask how and why punishment changed during the past half-century or so, and how it is lived and experienced today. Professor Goodman has paid particular attention to race and ethnicity, individual change and behaviour over the life-course (including the concepts of ‘rehabilitation’ and persistence), and penal labour.

Goodman used California’s fire camps to understand punishment and penal change. This led to three articles: one on the socially constructed nature of rehabilitation in the contemporary period (published in Social Problems), a second examining questions of exploitation and agency vis-à-vis penal labour (published in a special issue of Working USA: The Journal of Labor and Society), and a third, currently under review, on race, racialization, and punishment. He is also working on an article and a book (the latter is under contract with Oxford University Press) with University of Minnesota Professors Joshua Page and Michelle Phelps that re-examines state-level case studies of the criminal justice system in order to develop a mid-range, agonistic framework for better understanding penal change and the nature of the penal field. New and on-going projects include an examination of the penal drama surrounding the closure of Canada’s prison farms (with graduate student Meghan Dawe); an analysis of employment and ex-prisoners’ re-entry in the Greater Toronto Area (funded in part with a development grant from the Social Science and Humanities Research Council); and a planned project (with Professor Candace Kruttschnitt) interviewing persistent offenders to better understand the role of narratives in shaping patterns of criminal activity and how people make sense of their lives.