The Magdalene's Friend : The Control of Prostitutes in Glasgow, 1840-1890

Mahood, Linda L (1987) The Magdalene's Friend : The Control of Prostitutes in Glasgow, 1840-1890. MLitt(R) thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Abstract

This thesis is a contribution to three areas of sociological interest: the history of sexuality, the history of prostitution and, the more general area of the moral regulation of the working class in the nineteenth century. In order to accomplish this, the following research questions are raised. First, the system of moral policing and control introduced in Glasgow in the 1870's raises interesting questions concerning the difference between systems of police repression as an alternative to the state regulation of prostitution. The thesis attempts to evaluate the impact of the 'Glasgow System' which was developed as an alternative to state regulation in the 1870's. The Glasgow System was composed of the Glasgow Lock hospital, the Glasgow Magdalene Institution and the Glasgow Police Act (1866). The second issue addressed in this thesis concerns the internal management of the Glasgow Magdalene Institution. Nicole Rafter has identified 3 techniques for social control used in female penitentiaries in the nineteenth century: 1) physical incarceration of women who violated middle class standards of sexual behaviour, 2) resocialization, 3) the provision of stipends and rewards to women who successfully completed the two year stay in the Institution. The manner in which these techniques were used to control the sexual and vocational behaviour of the women who entered the Glasgow Magdalene Institution between 1960 and 1889 are examined. The final issue examined is the public discourse of the 'prostitution problem' in Scotland in the nineteenth century. Contributions to the discourse came from four main interest groups: the medical profession, philanthropists, local state representatives, and socialists, By the 1840's the socialists were marginalized. It is argued that through its control over key repressive and ideological apparatuses, such as the Glasgow police and Magdalene Institution the ideas of the dominant bourgeois discourse were reproduced in the institutional practices of these institutions.

Item Type: Thesis (MLitt(R))
Qualification Level: Masters
Keywords: Sociology, Sexuality
Date of Award: 1987
Depositing User: Enlighten Team
Unique ID: glathesis:1987-76653
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 19 Nov 2019 13:58
Last Modified: 19 Nov 2019 13:58
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/76653

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