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    The Pathologisation of Women Who Kill: Three Cases from Ireland

    Black, Lynsey (2018) The Pathologisation of Women Who Kill: Three Cases from Ireland. Social History of Medicine. pp. 1-21. ISSN 0951-631X

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    Women who kill are frequently subject to discourses of pathology. This article examines the cases of three women convicted of murder in Ireland following Independence in 1922 and explores how each woman was constructed as pathologised. Using archival materials, the article demonstrates that diagnoses were contingent and imbricated with notions of gender, morality, dangerousness, and class. For two of the women, their pathologisation led to them being certified as insane and admitted to the Central Criminal Lunatic Asylum. However, pathologisation could be mediated by respectable femininity. The article also explores the pathways which facilitated judgements of pathology, including the acceptance of a framework of degeneracy, or hereditary insanity, and examines how women could be redeemed from the diagnoses of ‘insanity’.

    Item Type: Article
    Keywords: gender; Ireland; murder; pathology; women who kill; insanity;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Social Sciences > Law
    Item ID: 12157
    Identification Number:
    Depositing User: Lynsey Black
    Date Deposited: 14 Jan 2020 17:08
    Journal or Publication Title: Social History of Medicine
    Publisher: Oxford University Press
    Refereed: Yes
    Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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