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Bourgeois morals/public punishment England c.1750s-1860s

Delaney, John

Description

Violence in the penal system and the changing attitudes to it as a spectacle in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries is the primary subject of this thesis. I begin my story with the public (and usually violent) forms of punishment as they existed in the eighteenth century. I treat them as cultural phenomena which are to be understood as part of a wider context of attitudes to the body and rituals. This chapter acts as the counterpoint to the following chapters where I try to explain...[Show more]

dc.contributor.authorDelaney, John
dc.date.accessioned2017-08-15T01:19:37Z
dc.date.available2017-08-15T01:19:37Z
dc.date.copyright1989
dc.identifier.otherb1709874
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1885/123823
dc.description.abstractViolence in the penal system and the changing attitudes to it as a spectacle in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries is the primary subject of this thesis. I begin my story with the public (and usually violent) forms of punishment as they existed in the eighteenth century. I treat them as cultural phenomena which are to be understood as part of a wider context of attitudes to the body and rituals. This chapter acts as the counterpoint to the following chapters where I try to explain why all these public forms of punishment disappear by the 1860s. These chapters cover three main themes. Firstly the influence of labour demands as manifested in the mercantilist period, when criminals are discovered as useful subjects (many are set to work in colonies and houses of correction instead of punishment by death and mutilation), and later how the labour requirements of the industrial revolution (freedom of movement and a reduction in the cost of the poor law by modifying diet and social activities) necessitates an internalisation of morals and habits (via the new prisons and plans for a system of national education) instead of the more negative treatment of crime by public exposure. Secondly the role of the soft/hard dichotomy, whereby the nervous system of women is portrayed as peculiarly delicate and weak in late eighteenth and early nineteenth century medical tracts, a portrayal which is, in turn, used to reinforce the domestic subordination of women. As a result the 'softer' sex are not expected to enjoy spectacles of punishment, which is a contradictory notion as women were as liable to execution or flogging as men. Finally the changes in the attitudes to death and representations of the dead body are reflected in the abolition of public dissections and the gibbet; there is also the fear that public executions (as well as exhibitions of the dead criminal) are perversely attractive to some individuals, which completely undermines their value as a deterrent. These various themes are united by the constant reference to the body: the body as the object of public and violent forms of punishment and changes in the perception of the body as the basis of their demise.
dc.format.extent226 p
dc.language.isoen
dc.subject.lcshCapital punishment HistoryEngland
dc.subject.lcshMind and body England
dc.subject.lcshLaw and ethics
dc.titleBourgeois morals/public punishment England c.1750s-1860s
dc.typeThesis (PhD)
local.contributor.supervisorSmith, F. B.
local.contributor.supervisorEddy, J. J.
dcterms.valid1989
local.description.notesThis thesis has been made available through exception 200AB to the Copyright Act.
local.type.degreeDoctor of Philosophy (PhD)
dc.date.issued1989
local.contributor.affiliationResearch School of Social Sciences, The Australian National University
local.identifier.doi10.25911/5d67b2c7d143d
dc.date.updated2017-08-04T01:14:33Z
local.identifier.proquestYes
local.mintdoimint
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