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Sumanta Banerjee

In: Challenging the Rule(s) of Law: Colonialism, Criminology and Human Rights in India

Chapter 2: Victims and Villains: The Construction of Female Criminality in Colonial Calcutta

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Victims and Villains: The Construction of Female Criminality in Colonial Calcutta
Victims and villains: The construction of female criminality in colonial Calcutta
SumantaBanerjee
Introduction

The concept of crime went through a change in 18th–19th century Calcutta under British rule. According to the norms of morality that were prevalent in contemporary England, certain pre-colonial social practices and customs (for example, prostitution, street performance of folk culture and so on) were designated as crime by the colonial administrators. The drive by a colonial power towards the rapid urbanisation of a pre-industrial society also led to socio-economic tensions that gave birth to new types of crime which were driven by both poverty (for example, street crimes such as pick-pocketing and burglary of shops and banks) as well as by rising ambition ...

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