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The social construction of female criminality : women, mental health, and the criminal justice system

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The social construction of female criminality : women, mental health, and the criminal justice system

Czaika, Gabrielle (2001) The social construction of female criminality : women, mental health, and the criminal justice system. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

The goal of this thesis is not to determine a causal relationship between the closures or reduction in available mental health care and a direct increase in the incarceration rate of women. Rather it is to show that ideology is primarily at the root of this shift in remanding certain individuals from mental health care facilities to penal institutions. I am making this assumption based on evidence uncovered through previous studies that examined the differential treatment of female and male inmates and the circumstances of their incarceration. Many of these studies have repeatedly shown that where female inmates are concerned, there is a much stronger psychiatric or emotional label attached to the acts of deviance committed by women, whereas, there is a rational connotation attached to the criminality of males. I believe the social construction of womanhood and of a woman's natural place within a patriarchal society was further determined as capitalism gained momentum in the latter half of the 19 th century. Yet, I also believe gender inequities began centuries before this as a result of the church interpreting the creation myth and painting women in a picture of natural evil, a temptation, but a necessary evil . This interpretation has been re-constructed in a capitalist society because in order to function, a capitalist society needs women in the home to ensure its survival. Therefore, the social construction of "woman" is no longer solely rooted in ideological thoughts, but also in the base of today's social structure, the economy

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Sociology and Anthropology
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Czaika, Gabrielle
Pagination:v, 111, [4] leaves ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Theses (M.A.)
Program:Sociology and Anthropology
Date:2001
Thesis Supervisor(s):Gerlach, Neil
ID Code:1545
Deposited By:Concordia University Libraries
Deposited On:27 Aug 2009 13:20
Last Modified:08 Dec 2010 10:21
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