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Textbook on Criminology

Textbook on Criminology (7th edn)

Katherine S. Williams
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date: 04 December 2023

18. Feminist theorieslocked

18. Feminist theorieslocked

  • Katherine S. WilliamsKatherine S. WilliamsLecturer in Law, University of Wales, Aberystwyth


Course-focused and comprehensive, the Textbook on series provides an accessible overview of the key areas on the law curriculum. This chapter examines feminist theories on female criminality. Feminist theory has led to the study of women's experiences as offenders, victims, workers in the criminal justice system and as subjects of the criminal justice system. Many feminist studies are ethnographic and use feminist theory to understand and interpret their findings. Feminist criminology is often linked to the study of multiple inequalities and their impact on women's lives. These have led to a critique of knowledge and the portrayal of women within discourses such as law and how this impacts on women's lives and serves to control rather than protect them.

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