By A. Cossins
This can be the 1st publication to think about the ethical law of the feminine physique via an research of the crime of infanticide. An in-depth standpoint from the 19th century to the current, Cossins presents a revealing perception into the historical past of a little-known yet frequent social crime.
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Extra resources for Female Criminality: Infanticide, Moral Panics and The Female Body
Making moral panics visible: Normativity and the political project The issue of normativity (Hier, 2002; Rohloff and Wright, 2010; Young, 2011) arises out of a judgement that a moral reaction is politically driven and may even be responsible for creating a perceived social threat. Calls have been made for greater detachment and objectivity by Rohloff and Wright (2010: 410, 413), who ask: ‘Can our assessments be relatively non-normative . . ’ Jenkins (2009: 36) argues that social issues should be examined using a ‘constructionist approach [which] makes no initial assumptions about the legitimacy of the subject matter’.
1978) with elites’ ‘rhetoric of morality’ (Critcher, 2003: 147) justifying the moral high ground and the erosion of civil rights. Young (2009) reiterates the conditions for social intervention by moral entrepreneurs: a powerful group whose interests and/or moral values are directly threatened by a particular subculture. A necessary condition is ‘the existence of marginalized, outsider groups suitable for portrayal as “folk devils” ’ (Garland, 2008: 14), such that the threat posed and the deviant person or group are placed on one side of a moral boundary against ‘right-thinking’ people.
Nonetheless, McRobbie’s and Thornton’s (1995) criticism of Cohen’s conceptualisations of society as predictable and monolithic is not fatal to moral panic analysis, since nothing is lost by recognising the diversity of social reactions to a particular threat or harm. In fact, a closer inspection of the development of a moral panic reveals the nuanced power relations between elites, moral entrepreneurs, folk devils and different sections of the public without losing any of Cohen’s insights. Identiﬁcation of these power relations will necessarily be more sophisticated than the work of Cohen and the study by Hall et al.
Female Criminality: Infanticide, Moral Panics and The Female Body by A. Cossins