Argues that although there is much about the boot camp that signals the continuity of the modern in punishment, an alternative interpretation is to view boot camps as an exercise in wilful nostalgia, a sensibility that is a crucial marker of the postmodern for many scholars.
Concepts of punishment & social control in the US are moving into the postmodern frame, as demonstrated by the new & very popular alternative to incarceration, the penal "boot camp." This approach is targeted to juvenile & young adult offenders, & contains military elements & harsh discipline. The military is a rich source of nostalgia for modernity & it brings nostalgic satisfaction to its public audience. The boot camp approach to punishment, however, is not a traditional nostalgia, but a willful nostalgia, since it tolerates a misrecognition of the earlier boot camp model. In its nostalgia, the boot camp thus marks advanced decay in the coherence & plausibility of the modern penal system & can be construed as postmodern. Other penal cliches, eg, the death penalty, are bound to surface in postmodern form before these practices are dismissed as truly meaningless. 58 References. M. Pflum