The Village in Court: Arson, Infanticide, and Poaching in the Court Records of Upper Bavaria 1848-1910

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9780521431866: The Village in Court: Arson, Infanticide, and Poaching in the Court Records of Upper Bavaria 1848-1910

The rural village in nineteenth-century Europe was caught in a conflict between its traditional local culture and its new integration into the grasp of state institutions and modern social structures. Local practices were turned into crimes; the social meaning of crime within the village culture was redefined by the introduction of bourgeois penal law and psychiatry. The language of the intruding agencies had created, through a wealth of written documentation, an image of village life for the outside world. Criminal investigations, however, had to be based on interrogations of the villagers themselves, and it was through this questioning process that their own views, language, and symbolic gestures went on record. Schulte provides a new and original interpretation of village power structures, gender relations, and generational rites of passage through a close reading of the trial proceedings before the penal courts of Upper Bavaria for the three most important types of rural crime: arson, infanticide, and poaching.

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Book Description:

In this book, first published in 1994, Schulte provides an interpretation of village life in rural Europe through a close study of the court proceedings for the three most important rural crimes: arson, infanticide, and poaching. These court proceedings revealed the views, language, and symbolic gestures of the villagers and illustrate the conflict between traditional local culture and the increasing influence of new state institutions and modern social structures.

Language Notes:

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: German

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