When Ladies Go A-Thieving: Middle-Class Shoplifters in the Victorian Department Store | Book, Essay

When Ladies Go A-Thieving: Middle-Class Shoplifters in the Victorian Department Store
Book details:
Pages: 320
Rating: 3.74

Original Title When Ladies Go A-Thieving: Middle-Class Shoplifters in the Victorian Department Store

ISBN 0195071425 (ISBN13: 9780195071429 )

Edition Language English

Genres:
Nonfiction :: History :: School :: Academic

Book description:

This book focuses on middle-class urban women as participants in new forms of consumer culture. Within the special world of the department store, women found themselves challenged to resist the enticements of consumption. Many succumbed, buying both what they needed and what they desired, but also stealing what seemed so readily available. Pitted against these middle-class women were the management, detectives, and clerks of the department stores. Abelson argues that in the interest of concealing this darker side of consumerism, women of the middle class, but not those of the working class, were allowed to shoplift and plead incapacitating illness--kleptomania. The invention of kleptomania by psychiatrists and the adoption of this ideology of feminine weakness by retailers, newspapers, the general public, the accused women themselves, and even the courts reveals the way in which a gender analysis allowed proponents of consumer capitalism to mask its contradictions.




Book Authors:

Elaine S. Abelson

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When Ladies Go A-Thieving: Middle-Class Shoplifters in the Victorian Department Store Essay




The relationship between menses and insanity, a cardinal component in accounts of female behaviour, became built-in to the argument over kleptomania. When you are truly in the temper to read about the rise of shrinkage among middle-class adult females with the modernisation of section shops during the Victorian age... so here you go. Its a difficult slog though... one I have yet to complete after two efforts.
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