Advanced

Skuld och oskuld : barnamord och barnkvävning i rättslig diskurs och praxis omkring 1680–1800.

Bergenlöv, Eva LU (2004) In Studia Historica Lundensia 13.
Abstract (Swedish)
Popular Abstract in Swedish

Syftet med denna avhandling är att analysera hur berättelser om skyldiga och oskyldiga mödrar konstruerades under perioden ca. 1680-1800. De två brottskategorierna barnamord och barnkvävning har undersökts. Källmaterialet har huvudsakligen bestått av protokoll från hovrätten, underrätter och sockenstämmor. Jag har klarlagt vilka omständigheter som utreddes vid brottsutredningarna och fick betydelse för domsluten. Hur såg den rättsliga retoriken, dvs. den argumentation som ledde fram till domsluten ut? Vidare har jag velat belysa på vilket sätt genus är inbäddat i de rättsliga berättelserna. Avsikten har varit att kartlägga den rättsliga diskursen, dvs. de bakomliggande tankefigurer och... (More)
Popular Abstract in Swedish

Syftet med denna avhandling är att analysera hur berättelser om skyldiga och oskyldiga mödrar konstruerades under perioden ca. 1680-1800. De två brottskategorierna barnamord och barnkvävning har undersökts. Källmaterialet har huvudsakligen bestått av protokoll från hovrätten, underrätter och sockenstämmor. Jag har klarlagt vilka omständigheter som utreddes vid brottsutredningarna och fick betydelse för domsluten. Hur såg den rättsliga retoriken, dvs. den argumentation som ledde fram till domsluten ut? Vidare har jag velat belysa på vilket sätt genus är inbäddat i de rättsliga berättelserna. Avsikten har varit att kartlägga den rättsliga diskursen, dvs. de bakomliggande tankefigurer och värderingar samt den moraluppfattning som vid sidan av lagen styrde konstruktionen av berättelser om skuld och oskuld. Den samtida samhällskontexten är av stor betydelse för tolkningen av rättsliga berättelser. Sverige kan under tidigmodern tid karaktäriseras som en religiös kultur. Religionen var inflätad i och hade grundläggande betydelse för samhällsmoral, normer, värderingar och lagstiftning. Äktenskapet hade uppvärderats efter reformationen och utgjorde grunden för samhällsordningen. Sedligheten övervakades hårt under den lutherska ortodoxins tid och sedlighetsbrott straffades mycket hårt. I analysen av konstruktionen av skuld och oskuld avtecknar sig två motsatta bilder - idealbilden som svarar mot det dåtida kvinnoidealet eller normen för det goda kristliga moderskapet och motbilden till idealet. Idealbilden omfattar komponenterna gift kvinna, dygd och sedlighet, legitima barn, öppenhet om graviditet, ära, anvar och moderskärlek, sorg vid barnets död samt att kvinnan var lojal och undergiven. Motbilden bygger i sin tur på elementen ogift kvinna, odygd och lösaktighet, illegitima barn, hemlighetsmakeri och döljande av graviditet, vanära lättfardighet, känslolöshet inför barnets död samt att kvinnan varit aktiv och självständig. Idealbilden svarar mot den oskyldiga barnkväverskan och motbilden står för den bortom alla tvivel skyldiga barnamörderskan. I praxis var dock bilderna ofta mera sammansatta och komplexa. Under 1700-talet professionaliserades förlossningsvård, barnavård och inte minst undersökningen av döda kroppar. Den rättsmedicinska vetenskapen utvecklades och fick inflytande på den rättsliga diskursen, framförallt när det gällde barnamord. Med denna utveckling skedde också en maskulinisering. Vetenskapen var ett manligt fält och de kvinnor som tidigare ansvarat för förlossningshjälp och likbesiktningar marginaliserades. Genusaspekten är mycket tydlig i undersökningen. Samhället var patriarkalt och kvinnan hade en underordnad och missgynnad position. Lagtexterna om barnamord och barnkvävning rörde uteslutande kvinnliga brottslingar. Lagstiftning, utredning och rättskipning kring dessa brott var alltså en manlig sfär medan de anklagade i princip uteslutande var kvinnor. Jag har konstaterat att barnets och livets värde som vilade på kristen etik och moral varit tämligen konstant under mycket lång tid. Under senare delen av 1700-talet skedde emellertid en förändring i den rättsliga diskursen genom att barnets värde kom tydligare till uttryck. Detta tolkar jag som en följd av nyttotänkande och merkantilistisk befolkningspolitik i samverkan med de medicinvetenskapliga framstegen. Den rättsliga retoriken kring barnamord och barnkvävning styrdes av en diskurs som kännetecknades av kravet på offentliggörande av havandeskap, liksom av födsel och död, det goda kristliga moderskapet och principen att barn skulle avlas inom äktenskapets ram. (Less)
Abstract
The objective of this thesis is to analyse how judicial texts concerning guilty and innocent mothers were constructed during the period of c. 1680-1800. The two crimes of infanticide and overlaying have been examined. Source materials have primarily consisted of proceedings from the appeals court, courts of first instance, and parish meetings. The aim has been to survey the judicial discourse, that is to say the background ways of reasoning,values and moral outlook, which, alongside the law, governed the construction of portrayals regarding guilt and innocence. Sweden in the early-modern period can be characterised as a religious culture. Religion was interwoven with, and had fundamental significance for societal morality, norms, values... (More)
The objective of this thesis is to analyse how judicial texts concerning guilty and innocent mothers were constructed during the period of c. 1680-1800. The two crimes of infanticide and overlaying have been examined. Source materials have primarily consisted of proceedings from the appeals court, courts of first instance, and parish meetings. The aim has been to survey the judicial discourse, that is to say the background ways of reasoning,values and moral outlook, which, alongside the law, governed the construction of portrayals regarding guilt and innocence. Sweden in the early-modern period can be characterised as a religious culture. Religion was interwoven with, and had fundamental significance for societal morality, norms, values and legislation. The institution of marriage had been bestowed with increased status following the Reformation and represented the foundation of societal order. Morality was rigorously controlled during the era of Lutheran orthodoxy and sexual offences severely punished. In my analysis of constructions of guilt and innocence, two contradictory images emerge - one an ideal, corresponding to the female optimum, or norm of the good, Christian motherhood, and the other its antithesis. The ideal character corresponded to the innocent infant overlayer; her antithesis to the beyond-all-doubt guilty child murderess. It should be added that in practice these images often were more composite and complex. During the 1700s the spheres of maternity care (obstetrics), child care (paediatrics) and, not least, post-mortem examinations were professionalized. The science of forensic medicine developed and gained influence in the judicial discourse, primarily in connection with infanticide. Alongside this transformation a masculinisation took place. Science was a male field, and those women who had earlier been responsible for child-birth assistance and examining the dead became marginalized. The gender aspect is very clear in this study. Society was patriarchal and women held a subordinate, inequitable position. Laws concerning infanticide and overlaying affected female criminals exclusively. Legislation, investigation and the administration of justice surrounding these crimes were a male sphere, while the accused were, in principle, women alone. I have ascertained that the value of a child, and that of life itself, which was based upon Christian ethics and morality, was fairly constant during a very long period of time. During the latter part of the 1700s, however, a change took place in the judicial discourse, whereby the child's value was expressed with more clarity. I interpret this as a consequence of utilitarian thinking and mercantilistic population politics, in co-operation with medico-scientific developments. The judicial rhetoric relating to infanticide was directed by a discourse characterised by the demand for publicization of pregnancy, as well as birth and death, good Christian motherhood, and the principle that children should be conceived within the marriage structure. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
opponent
  • Phil. Dr Sandvik, Hilde, Oslo universitet
organization
alternative title
Guilt and Innocence : Infanticide and Smothering in Judicial Discourse and Practice, c. 1680–1800
publishing date
type
Thesis
publication status
published
subject
keywords
History, honour, virtue, motherhood, marriage, Religious culture, gender, Historia
in
Studia Historica Lundensia
volume
13
pages
491 pages
publisher
Nordic Academic Press
defense location
Sal 3, Historiska institutionen, Magle Stora Kyrkogata 12A, 220 02 Lund
defense date
2004-05-08 10:15
external identifiers
  • other:ISRN: LUHFDA/HFHI-2004/1120-SE+491
ISSN
1650-755X
ISBN
91-628-5975-7
language
Swedish
LU publication?
yes
id
647c3238-4813-423c-80ee-bdc293553a3f (old id 21648)
date added to LUP
2007-05-28 11:03:48
date last changed
2016-09-19 08:44:55
@phdthesis{647c3238-4813-423c-80ee-bdc293553a3f,
  abstract     = {The objective of this thesis is to analyse how judicial texts concerning guilty and innocent mothers were constructed during the period of c. 1680-1800. The two crimes of infanticide and overlaying have been examined. Source materials have primarily consisted of proceedings from the appeals court, courts of first instance, and parish meetings. The aim has been to survey the judicial discourse, that is to say the background ways of reasoning,values and moral outlook, which, alongside the law, governed the construction of portrayals regarding guilt and innocence. Sweden in the early-modern period can be characterised as a religious culture. Religion was interwoven with, and had fundamental significance for societal morality, norms, values and legislation. The institution of marriage had been bestowed with increased status following the Reformation and represented the foundation of societal order. Morality was rigorously controlled during the era of Lutheran orthodoxy and sexual offences severely punished. In my analysis of constructions of guilt and innocence, two contradictory images emerge - one an ideal, corresponding to the female optimum, or norm of the good, Christian motherhood, and the other its antithesis. The ideal character corresponded to the innocent infant overlayer; her antithesis to the beyond-all-doubt guilty child murderess. It should be added that in practice these images often were more composite and complex. During the 1700s the spheres of maternity care (obstetrics), child care (paediatrics) and, not least, post-mortem examinations were professionalized. The science of forensic medicine developed and gained influence in the judicial discourse, primarily in connection with infanticide. Alongside this transformation a masculinisation took place. Science was a male field, and those women who had earlier been responsible for child-birth assistance and examining the dead became marginalized. The gender aspect is very clear in this study. Society was patriarchal and women held a subordinate, inequitable position. Laws concerning infanticide and overlaying affected female criminals exclusively. Legislation, investigation and the administration of justice surrounding these crimes were a male sphere, while the accused were, in principle, women alone. I have ascertained that the value of a child, and that of life itself, which was based upon Christian ethics and morality, was fairly constant during a very long period of time. During the latter part of the 1700s, however, a change took place in the judicial discourse, whereby the child's value was expressed with more clarity. I interpret this as a consequence of utilitarian thinking and mercantilistic population politics, in co-operation with medico-scientific developments. The judicial rhetoric relating to infanticide was directed by a discourse characterised by the demand for publicization of pregnancy, as well as birth and death, good Christian motherhood, and the principle that children should be conceived within the marriage structure.},
  author       = {Bergenlöv, Eva},
  isbn         = {91-628-5975-7},
  issn         = {1650-755X},
  keyword      = {History,honour,virtue,motherhood,marriage,Religious culture,gender,Historia},
  language     = {swe},
  pages        = {491},
  publisher    = {Nordic Academic Press},
  school       = {Lund University},
  series       = {Studia Historica Lundensia},
  title        = {Skuld och oskuld : barnamord och barnkvävning i rättslig diskurs och praxis omkring 1680–1800.},
  volume       = {13},
  year         = {2004},
}