Criminalization and gender: The changing governance of sexuality and gender violence in Hawai’i

Sally Engle Merry

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


    This chapter compares two moments of transition, both effected by the law as it criminalizes certain practices of family life. In Michel Foucault’s analysis of the development of the art of government since the sixteenth century, he notes a shift in the significance of the family. Laws passed in 1845 and 1850 dramatically transformed gender relationships, reconstituting the family as a single, private unit outside the scope of the law and under the sovereign control of the husband. The public sphere was constituted by agreement among equals while the private sphere, outside the law and different in kind, was the realm of emotions, desires, needs and cultural traditions in which inequalities were understood as the result of naturalized differences and capacities, such as those based on gender. The feminist criminalization of gender violence tends to see men as inherently violent and women as not violent, thus essentializing gender identities.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Title of host publicationGovernable Places
    Subtitle of host publicationReadings on Governmentality and Crime Control
    PublisherTaylor and Francis
    Number of pages27
    ISBN (Electronic)9780429763014
    ISBN (Print)9781138385283
    StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • General Social Sciences


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