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The Prostitute's Voice in the Public Eye: Police Tactics of Security and Discipline Within Victorian Journalism

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Abstract:

There was a shift in public rationality concerning prostitution in Victorian Britain, marked by the passing of the first Contagious Diseases (C.D.) Act of 1864. While the efforts of statisticians were critical in shifting public perception of prostitutes from “the fallen woman” to the more pedestrian harlot, popular discourse also had a part in generating this new rationality. Employing Foucault's conceptualization of police, the appropriation of the prostitute's voice within popular newspapers acted as a tactic of police. This is illustrated through a case study of anonymous letters to the editor of the Times of London in February 1858.

Keywords: Discipline; Journalism; Police; Prostitution; Security

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14791420903527780

Publication date: March 1, 2010

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