Witches, wives and wrongdoers: an analysis of the influences and affects of criminological, feminist and political discourses upon the contemporary treatment of female offenders

Robinson, Niki (2008) Witches, wives and wrongdoers: an analysis of the influences and affects of criminological, feminist and political discourses upon the contemporary treatment of female offenders. BSc dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

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    Abstract

    Utilising an entirely literature approach, this dissertation investigates the contemporary treatment of female offenders in light of historical perceptions and explanations of female offending, feminist criminological theorisation, governmental policies and reports and the current female prison population of England and Wales. The objective of this dissertation is to provide a critical correlation between the efforts, challenges and impact of feminist criminology, alternative criminological theorisation and political discourses towards an understanding of the nature of female offending, the reality of female offenders lives and the ways in which the imprisonment of women in post-modern society has listened to, recognised and treats women as offenders. It is proposed that the treatment of the female offender has changed over the years; from the witch hunt persecutions of the pre-modern period, to the medicalisation of female deviance according to gender norms and patriarchy, to chivalrous treatment and in more recent years towards an excessive use of imprisonment. It is argued that an analysis of feminist criminology reveals that the success of feminist theorisation has only altered the treatment of women as victims of crime, whereas the treatment of females as offenders has faded into the background as both criminology as a discipline and the contemporary penal climate have become preoccupied with public protection, victims of crime and categories of risk. Furthermore, a critical finding of this dissertation suggests that contemporary government reports, policies and initiatives, which emphasise a need for a change in the greater reliance upon incarceration for female offenders, are likely to be derailed due to the punitive nature of the present criminal justice system, a lack of funding and the confused aims of the probation service.

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > Institute of Criminal Justice Studies
    Depositing User: Jane Polwin
    Date Deposited: 20 Jan 2011 12:48
    Last Modified: 28 Jan 2015 11:14
    URI: http://eprints.port.ac.uk/id/eprint/531

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