After clicking on the link above to view a slide show providing information about the famous “Stanford County Prison Experiment,” answer and then discuss the following questions within your discussion group:

  1. How do you think you would have acted as a prisoner in this experiment?  As a guard?
  2. Zimbardo was one of the first to try to mimic prison conditions in an academic experiment. He has since stated that current prisons have not improved, but gotten “more punitive and destructive.” Armed with this knowledge, have your opinions changed concerning the prison system? If so, how? If prisons aren’t rehabilitating, how can sociologists help change the system with their knowledge of roles and role theory?
  3. In 2003 U.S. soldiers abused Iraqi prisoners held at Abu Ghraib, 20 miles west of Baghdad. The prisoners were stripped, made to wear bags over their heads, and sexually humiliated while the guards laughed and took photographs. How is this abuse similar to or different from what took place in the Stanford County Prison Experiment ?

Go to the Blackboard Group Discussion area to discuss.