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Den konstruerade häxan - trolldomsbrottets fördömda kvinnor

Östberg, Greta LU (2016) LAGF03 20161
Department of Law
Faculty of Law
Abstract
This essay examines the aspects contributing to the construction of the witch as a female, and the role women played as victims during the larger which-trials in Sweden. Harmful magic had a long history as a crime within Swedish legislation, however, it is not until later in the 17th century persecutions occurs on a greater scale. The victims were female, with only a few exceptions.
Accusations spread though the area around Dalarna, resulting in severe sentences and executions. The crime of magic had evolved and welded together with religious diabolic ideas. The witchcraft was now strongly connected to the Devil and abduction of children to his nest Blåkulla. There are several aspects that distinguish the Swedish witchcraft-trials from... (More)
This essay examines the aspects contributing to the construction of the witch as a female, and the role women played as victims during the larger which-trials in Sweden. Harmful magic had a long history as a crime within Swedish legislation, however, it is not until later in the 17th century persecutions occurs on a greater scale. The victims were female, with only a few exceptions.
Accusations spread though the area around Dalarna, resulting in severe sentences and executions. The crime of magic had evolved and welded together with religious diabolic ideas. The witchcraft was now strongly connected to the Devil and abduction of children to his nest Blåkulla. There are several aspects that distinguish the Swedish witchcraft-trials from regular procedures. Additional resources were put into place, children were allowed to testify, and torture was considered a useful tool.
The typical offender is described as an ordinary person, with few features associated with the witch, except that she was female. The extensive allegations have previously been explained as a result of strain living conditions and conflicts within groups of women. Studies of witches in Denmark show the gendered witch as an antitype of an ideal housewife.
The accusations were generally initiated by children. Their testimonies also made them criminals - partly because of the sins confessed on own behalf, and partly because of untrue or aggressive designations. Cases of witchcraft were preliminary handled by the priest. Their role in the proceedings was versatile as they operated as initiators, voice of the village people, and as an aid to the secular authorities judging in the matter. The judicial authorities enforced the already existing tendencies, accused women were considered as more evil and dangerous.
Consequently, the characteristic of the witch-hunt was enabled by many interacting factors, such as gender ideals, the living situation, power relations, the view of scholars in contrast to the common peoples knowledge and the development of the crime into a religious matter. (Less)
Abstract (Swedish)
Uppsatsen undersöker vilka faktorer som bidragit till konstruktionen av häxan som kvinnlig, och kvinnans roll som offer för de större trolldomsprocesserna i Sverige. Brottet, i form av skadlig trolldom, har en lång historia av straffbarhet även om det är först på andra halvan av 1600-talet som större förföljelser tar form. Den drabbar huvudsakligen kvinnor.
Anklagelserna spred sig i området kring Dalarna, där de resulterade i hårda domar och avrättningar. Det magiska brotten hade utvecklats mot en ny kristet-diabolisk form och häxan kopplades samman med Satan samt bortförande av barn till Blåkulla. Fler aspekter utmärker det svenska häxväsendet från ett ordinarie förfarande. Extra resurser sattes in för att klara av att hantera målen,... (More)
Uppsatsen undersöker vilka faktorer som bidragit till konstruktionen av häxan som kvinnlig, och kvinnans roll som offer för de större trolldomsprocesserna i Sverige. Brottet, i form av skadlig trolldom, har en lång historia av straffbarhet även om det är först på andra halvan av 1600-talet som större förföljelser tar form. Den drabbar huvudsakligen kvinnor.
Anklagelserna spred sig i området kring Dalarna, där de resulterade i hårda domar och avrättningar. Det magiska brotten hade utvecklats mot en ny kristet-diabolisk form och häxan kopplades samman med Satan samt bortförande av barn till Blåkulla. Fler aspekter utmärker det svenska häxväsendet från ett ordinarie förfarande. Extra resurser sattes in för att klara av att hantera målen, barn tilläts som vittnen och tortyr ansågs som en ändamålsmässig metod.
Den typiska gärningspersonen för trolldomsbrottet beskrivs som en vanlig person, med få drag som förknippas med häxan utom att hon var just kvinnlig. Anklagelserna har tidigare förklarats genom de levnadsförhållanden som rådde och kvinnogrupper inbördes problematik. De studier som gjorts på Danmarks häxor har anlagt ett genusperspektiv som visar häxan som en rak motsats till en god husmoder.
Beskyllningarna initierades framförallt av barn. Deras vittnesutsagor gjorde även dem till brottslingar - dels genom ageranden i Blåkulla, dels genom vad som ansågs som osanna eller aggressiva utpekanden. Ärendena behandlades först hos prästerna, som hade en mångsidig roll i förfarandet som initiativtagare, som språkrör för allmogen och som samarbetspart till de världsliga myndigheterna för att skipa rättvisa i frågan. Rättsväsendet spelade en roll i att förstärka tendenser som fanns sedan innan, misstänkta kvinnor ansågs ondare och farligare.
I häxväsendets utformande är det således många olika faktorer som väger samman, dåtidens könsideal, levnadssituation, maktförhållanden, folkliga idéer som möter de lärda och trolldomsbrottet utveckling till en trossak. (Less)
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author
Östberg, Greta LU
supervisor
organization
course
LAGF03 20161
year
type
M2 - Bachelor Degree
subject
keywords
rättshistoria
language
Swedish
id
8874228
date added to LUP
2016-07-04 09:32:06
date last changed
2016-07-04 09:32:06
@misc{8874228,
  abstract     = {This essay examines the aspects contributing to the construction of the witch as a female, and the role women played as victims during the larger which-trials in Sweden. Harmful magic had a long history as a crime within Swedish legislation, however, it is not until later in the 17th century persecutions occurs on a greater scale. The victims were female, with only a few exceptions. 
 Accusations spread though the area around Dalarna, resulting in severe sentences and executions. The crime of magic had evolved and welded together with religious diabolic ideas. The witchcraft was now strongly connected to the Devil and abduction of children to his nest Blåkulla. There are several aspects that distinguish the Swedish witchcraft-trials from regular procedures. Additional resources were put into place, children were allowed to testify, and torture was considered a useful tool. 
 The typical offender is described as an ordinary person, with few features associated with the witch, except that she was female. The extensive allegations have previously been explained as a result of strain living conditions and conflicts within groups of women. Studies of witches in Denmark show the gendered witch as an antitype of an ideal housewife.
 The accusations were generally initiated by children. Their testimonies also made them criminals - partly because of the sins confessed on own behalf, and partly because of untrue or aggressive designations. Cases of witchcraft were preliminary handled by the priest. Their role in the proceedings was versatile as they operated as initiators, voice of the village people, and as an aid to the secular authorities judging in the matter. The judicial authorities enforced the already existing tendencies, accused women were considered as more evil and dangerous.
 Consequently, the characteristic of the witch-hunt was enabled by many interacting factors, such as gender ideals, the living situation, power relations, the view of scholars in contrast to the common peoples knowledge and the development of the crime into a religious matter.},
  author       = {Östberg, Greta},
  keyword      = {rättshistoria},
  language     = {swe},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Den konstruerade häxan - trolldomsbrottets fördömda kvinnor},
  year         = {2016},
}