By A. Cossins
This can be the 1st booklet to think about the ethical law of the feminine physique via an research of the crime of infanticide. An in-depth viewpoint from the 19th century to the current, Cossins presents a revealing perception into the background of a little-known yet frequent social crime.
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Extra info for Female Criminality: Infanticide, Moral Panics and the Female Body
Rohloff and 30 Female Criminality Wright consider that moral panics represent ‘episodes of decivilisation’ which occur during times of real increases in danger and ‘a (perceived) failure of the state to reduce those dangers’. Arguably, however, in examining the processes that enable both civilising and decivilising to occur, Rohloff’s and Wright’s analysis does not provide any greater insights than those of Hier (2002, 2008, 2011), Cohen (2011b) or Ben-Yehuda (2009), who also ask how certain issues transform into social problems and how changes in power relationships between particular groups affect the development of a moral panic.
Hegemony involves various forms of moral regulation to obtain public consent for its ascendancy with processes of self-governance (‘manufactured consent’) amounting to an ingenious method for the dominance of one class over another. In particular, the cultural power of those with the economic and institutional means to name and shame through the symbolic language of morality amounts to the ascendancy of particular interests over those individuals constructed as folk devils, who, in the struggle to maintain hegemony, must be controlled, ostracised or The Moral Panic Concept 41 punished.
Rohloff and Wright (2010: 414) advocate moving beyond the use of moral panic as a heuristic and normative term by recognising moral panics as ‘short-term decivilizing processes’. Elias’s (2000) concepts of civilising and de-civilising ‘explored the interrelationship between longterm changes in standards of behaviour and processes of state formation’ (Rohloff and Wright, 2010: 411–412; see also Hunt, 1999). Rohloff and 30 Female Criminality Wright consider that moral panics represent ‘episodes of decivilisation’ which occur during times of real increases in danger and ‘a (perceived) failure of the state to reduce those dangers’.