ISSN 2045-9238


Crime, Gender and Culture in the Twentieth Century

This ESRC-funded seminar series provides an innovative opportunity for undertaking an interdisciplinary exploration into factors both practical and theoretical, past and present, affecting women's interface with the criminal justice system by promoting dialogue between practitioners, professionals and academics and by incorporating into the considerations a historical dimension. Academic insights in areas such as this require the contributions of the professional or practitioner communities to ensure a secure grounding for conclusions reached. It is to promote this dialogue, with anticipated outcomes of value for both academics and policy-makers, that this series of seminars is designed, with locales shared between the practitioner and the academic community. One important new element to this proposed seminar series would be that, by adding a historical (but not purely narrative) dimension to the debates, as well as by involving practitioners, it would initiate a far more wide-ranging dialogue on a still under-researched area, but one of considerable contemporary concern.

Click onlinks below for further details as available, speakers, programme &c. Abstracts and downloadable versions of papers are also available at these links.

Forthcoming FCRN Seminars

--- None Planned ---

Previous FRCN Seminars

Sexuality, Crime and Gender

Gloucester (hosted by Gloucestershire Constabulary) - 15th May 2002

Taking a broad understanding of the notion of policing, considered issues around the regulation of sexual conduct and the delineation of whether definitions of criminality have differed when applied to women and men. In particular the discussion reviewed law and policing around prostitution and homosexual and lesbian sexual practices. Possible discontinuities or contradictions between law, policy and everyday policing practices were explored. Asked whether institutions such as welfare organisations (voluntary and statutory) have arguably formed part of a broader gendered regulatory system.

Gender and Crime Research: Strategies, Objectives and Experience

22nd November, 2002, Nottingham Trent University.

The core questions the seminar addressed, through presentations and discussion were:-

  • How may the agendas of academic research and professional practice be made more congruent?
  • Do academically framed concepts of 'gender' match with the understandings and priorities of professionals - and indeed should they?
  • To what extent are historical perspectives relevant to contemporary research and practice?

What are the areas in which purposeful and relevant research is needed and how may this be funded?


Paul Baker, SOLON Project, NTU
Shani D'Cruze, Manchester Metropolitan University
Louise Jackson, Leeds Metropolitan University
Terry Hanstock, Library , NTU
Veronica Lawrence, Library, NTU
Sue Nielson, Social Inclusion Unit, Manchester Metropolitan University
Sam Pegg, Nottingham Trent University
Judith Rowbotham, SOLON project, Nottingham Trent University
Helen Self, Josephine Butler Society
Kim Stevenson, SOLON Project, NTU
Sian Thornthwaite, Derby Magistrates

The Report of this seminar in avaliable online.


Gendering Representations: Criminals and Victims in the Twentieth Century

Greenwich Naval College/University of Greenwich Law School - 7th May 2003

By considering a wide range of media, including fiction, newspapers and journalism, scholarly publication, film and tv genres, it reviewed the ways in which issues of gender have been a key part of how crime and the criminal have been incorporated into popular, political and academic cultures. Particular areas for discussion included the effectiveness of education and crime awareness programmes and also the history and nature of and appropriate responses to moral panic.

The Programme is still available on-line.


Gender and Penality in the Twentieth Century

18th June, 2003, Askham Grange Prison (Funded by the ESRC)

Organised by the Feminist Crime Research Network.

Arguably the penal system across the twentieth century both informed and was constructed through broader ‘cultures of punishment’. This seminar explored how the organization and practices of the penal system have been gendered and to what extent such institutional dynamics accorded with culture, society and governance more generally. It sought to map the interactions between punishment and rehabilitation as core rationales for the penal system and ask whether the nature and severity of punishment through imprisonment has been differentiated by the gender, class, age, race and sexuality of offenders, as much as by the judicial and penal classifications and judgments applied to them.

Topics included:-

  • Women offenders 
  • Gendering penal regimes 
  • Masculinity, authority and the prison 
  • Gender and the juvenile offender 
  • Gendering cultural representations of prisons and prisoners 
  • Prison professionals 
  • Violence and self-harm


Abstract: Gendering Criminals and Victims

Leeds Metropolitan University - October, 2003

Examines the historical relationships between class, race, social exclusion, gender and criminal behaviour and how far criminality has been considered primarily a masculine trait. Conversely asks how women's relationships to family and to employment have helped shape the profile of female criminality. Similarly asks how victims of crime have been constituted differently by gender and how this has been reflected in the responses of the criminal justice system and welfare agencies. Relevant issues include the law on provocation, its history and current applications. Likewise gender and the historical and contemporary application of psychological explanations of criminal motivation.

The Abstracts are avaliable online


Rehabilitation and Prevention

(hosted by Galleries of Justice, Nottingham, January, 2004;)

Discusses the possibilities and limitations of projects both to rehabilitate the offender and to prevent crime and how these have been gendered. Examines the historical development of a range of initiatives and seeks to draw insights for future application. Considers the historical and contemporary relationships between voluntary and state organisations, particularly the probation and after-care services, their paradigms, policies and practices.


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