Imagined communities and the death penalty in Britain, 1930-65

Seal, Lizzie (2014) Imagined communities and the death penalty in Britain, 1930-65. British Journal of Criminology, 54 (5). pp. 908-927. ISSN 0007-0955

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Based on research into qualitative responses to capital punishment in mid twentieth-century Britain, this article examines how letter writers to the Home Office constructed imagined communities in relation to capital cases. It uncovers a shift in these responses from creating respectable, local communities in the period 1930–45, when most letter writers had a personal connection to the condemned, to the creation of the imagined national community from the late 1940s onwards, when most correspondents in relation to high profile cases were not connected to the condemned. These post-war letters reveal how meanings of Britishness, particularly in relation to the important symbol of ‘British justice’, were negotiated in relation to capital punishment.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Law, Politics and Sociology > Sociology
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DA History of Great Britain
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology > HM0661 Social control
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology > HV6001 Criminology
Depositing User: Lizzie Seal
Date Deposited: 02 Jul 2014 12:39
Last Modified: 07 Nov 2014 09:22
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