Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Sociology and Anthropology

First Advisor

Dr. Wayne Wheeler


Prison riots have long been recognised as persistent and pervasive problems in American society. However, the general orientation of prison administrators and correctional organizations has led them to view the riots as dysfunctional and disruptive, and to disregard their positive functions. In reviewing the literature on prisons, it became increasingly clear to the writer that an adequate science of prison violence must depend heavily upon the research skills and theoretical insights of sociologists who will bring them to bear on the prison community. Perhaps no more compelling evidence can be found of the failure of sociologists to take advantage of the rich research potential of the field of corrections than the nearly total disregard by sociological Investigators of the series of prison riots that occurred in correctional institutions throughout the United States during the years 1968 to 1971. Yet these riots ware among the more striking phenomena of collective violence which have occurred in the nation.


A Thesis Presented to the Department of Sociology and the Faculty of the College of Graduate Studies University of Nebraska at Omaha In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree Master of Arts. Copyright Robert R. Jorgensen March, 1974

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