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The Exclusion of Women from Criminal Studies During the Victorian Era in England - Dissertation Example

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The Exclusion of Women from Criminal Studies During the Victorian Era in England Part I My dissertation explores and analyses the neglect of women in crime and criminality studies during the Victorian Era in England. It is hypothesized women were neglected crime and criminality studies during Victorian England because it was consistent with existing attitudes toward and treatment of women in a Victorian society characterized by a patriarchal order…
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The Exclusion of Women from Criminal Studies During the Victorian Era in England
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"The Exclusion of Women from Criminal Studies During the Victorian Era in England"

Download file to see previous pages In introducing the topic, its importance, the methodology for conducting the study, the first part of my dissertation explains that crime and criminality was first introduced during the Victorian Era. Previously crime was attributed to either the forces of nature, the devil or the supernatural. Thus the Victorian Era is presented as an important milestone in crime and criminality studies as it rejected previous explanations of crime and offending. The first part of my dissertation therefore introduces the reader to the fact that as criminologists turned attention to crime and offending, women were not factored in and when they were, it was by attributed to factors that supported concepts and attitudes relative to the idealization of women during the Victorian Era. The first part of my dissertation touches on the prevailing school of thought influencing crime and criminality studies and the rather dismissive approach to female offending. Cesare Lombroso, a 19th century criminologists is introduced as the father of criminology. It is revealed that Lombroso influenced much of the criminology studies and he in turn was influenced by Darwin’s theory of evolution, arguing that crime was biological in nature (Tibbets 2011, p. 80). The first part of my dissertation thus sets the conceptual framework for conducting the study. It is essentially revealed that Lombroso’s work during the 19th century set the bar for the neglect of women in crime and criminality studies. For Lombroso, women crime was unnatural for women and women who offended were either masculine or mentally deficient. Even the occasional normal women who committed crimes were described by Lombroso as essentially male-like. Based on this conceptual framework, the remainder of the dissertation seeks to explain why women were neglected in Victorian Era crime and criminality studies. Women were regulated so as to keep them at home and out of the work place. Part II This part of my dissertation focuses on the role and treatment of women in Victorian England and explains that the laws, practices and policies of Victorian England commanded that women were both domestic and subordinate. Shanley (1993) informs that these practices and laws were calculated to ensure that women remained at home “bearing and raising children” (p. 79). Women were thus categorized and relegated to a purely biological function connected to their “sexual and reproductive capacities” (Shanley 1993, pp. 79-80). This part of my dissertation looks more directly at the laws that marginalized women based on this prevailing view of women. The laws examined are the Matrimonial Causes Act 1857 in which men could obtain a divorce on the grounds of adultery per se, but a woman had to prove cruelty or desertion together with adultery. Thus men and women were treated quite differently with men receiving greater rights and authority than women. Other 19th century laws reflecting the gender differentiations were the Contagious Diseases Acts, Infant Life Protection Act and the Factory Acts. These Acts are examined as a means of substantiating the claim that women were subjected to a prescribed domestic role and segregated from men and the public life. Part II of my dissertation examines the influence of science and nature during the Victorian Era ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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