History of the Family. Aug2013, Vol. 18 Issue 3, p238-260. 23p.
LEGAL history, EARLY modern history, LEGAL status of women -- History, CRIMINAL justice system, GENDER, VIOLENCE, HISTORY, STOCKHOLM (Sweden), and MUNICH (Germany)
This article aims at getting a deeper understanding of gender-specific justification of violence in early modern legal discourse and practice. The analysis focuses on structures and strategies concerning women's supposed misconduct, disobedience and sexually suspicious acts, and violence related to this. The legal cases referred to originate from the secular lower courts' proceedings of the cities Stockholm and Munich in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. In addition to acts perceived as crimes, such as rape, the term violence refers to those not necessarily qualified as wrong, such as domestic castigation. Furthermore, in this study, the subject violence also applies to discriminatory legal structures and customs. The core questions therefore are: To what extent were disciplinary and penal methods as well as other acts upon a woman's body understood as just and legitimate, to what extent and in what circumstances were they seen as violent and wrongful, and how did this reflect the contemporary gender roles? [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]