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SOSC 1375 Lecture: Socio-legal history, sexual deviance, medicalization

by Anu J
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Social Science
SOSC 1375
Olena Kobzar

- What is normal and abnormal? Who decides what is normal and abnormal? o Influences on normal/abnormal:  Religion  Society  What do we, as a society, believe to  Nature is the only thing that is “normal” - Rule of law = all people are equal under law o No one is exempt from the law o Everyone is equal - Moral panic = a disruption that threatens the social order of a society - Look at law as: o A regulator of morals o Containment (i.e. “don’t run a red light”) - Sample case: Clara Ford (1894) o Toronto, tiny apartment near Spadina/Adelaide o Early 30s + mulatto (one parent white, one black) + seamstress + unmarried o Clara Ford shot and killed Frank Westwood  18 years old, from a well-off family  She claimed that he raped her  Is that a reason to kill him? o No: two wrongs don’t make a right o Yes: self-defence o Maybe: she was half black and she wouldn’t be able to have access to the adequate justice system that everyone else does o Clara’s lawyer: F.B. (Blackie) Johnston  Got Clara to take back her confession:  Used her minority race o Said that the two white officers pressured her into admitting it wrongly  Played into the gender role o Gender assumption is that women are dumber than men o She said she didn’t know what she was doing and played the “oh-I’m-so-sorry” card o Tapped into jurymen’s ego (to be as protectors of the woman) o The prosecutor: B.B. Osler o Social norms  Certain ideas of what it means to be a woman - Sample case: Carrie Davies (1915) o 18-year-old English woman, servant in the Massey home  Young, white, British, innocent, hardworking, dutiful, dressed in dowdy clothing, dad died in war, had to support her mother and sister by working, virgin, family- oriented, had a boyfriend sent to war o Bert Massey: liked fast cars and had a reputation for womanizing o Hartley Deward: Carrie Davies’ lawyer o E.E.A. DuVernet: prosecutor  Said she was mental (that was the only “defence” they had left) o Key plays:  Give the jury the role of the parent  Treat them as mentors, and as the parent figure  Her father couldn’t take care of the family  Convince the jury to feel something, you have already one half the case  Portrayed as insane  Epileptic seizures - What is medicalization? o The modern era: much of what we see as the abnormal now becomes medicalized  Before, the was just an aberration departing from “the right path”  Now, there is no right or wrong path… it’s a medical problem regarding a medical solution  Medicalization of social problems o Medicalization as an alternate to criminalization - Sample case: Shafia Trial st o Dad, mom, son convicted of killing three daughters and aunt (1 wife)  First he tried to deny it  They insisted it was an honour killing  Dad testified that he would do it again  Wanted to be tried in a different system (under Shari’a law)  Based on the Qur’an  Mother said:  I’m a mother, I didn’t do this (hooks on to maternal instin
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