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"I am the Devil's own": Crime, class, and identity in the seventeenth century Dutch East Indies

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Title: "I am the Devil's own": Crime, class, and identity in the seventeenth century Dutch East Indies
Author(s): McVay, Pamela Anne
Doctoral Committee Chair(s): Parker, N. Geoffrey
Department / Program: History
Discipline: History
Degree Granting Institution: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree: Ph.D.
Genre: Dissertation
Subject(s): History, Asia, Australia and Oceania Law Sociology, Criminology and Penology Sociology, Social Structure and Development
Abstract: "I am the Devil's Own" examines the ways the criminal justice system interacted with social services and military regulation to foster and impose class, gender, and ethnic identities on inhabitants of the Dutch East Indies during the period between the promulgation of the first independent Dutch East India Company (VOC) legal code and the restructuring of the criminal courts in 1689 and 1690. Using the case of the prosecution of Nicolaes Schagen as a point of entry into the criminal justice system, the study moves on to consider the concerns of elites and the regulation of daily life as expressed in VOC laws. The Company legislated separately for particular ethnic groups, different classes, and for women and children, shaping the expectations of courts and social services regarding their clients. The study also examines church council minutes in some detail, to show how the official church shaped private and public behavior, primarily through extra-legal means. Records of the criminal courts in Batavia, Timor, Ternate, and Melaka show that government, expectations of particular groups largely matched their criminal activity, that penalties for crimes were matched to defendants' sex, social status, and ethnicity, and that penalties were often designed to reinforce role-appropriate behavior. Finally, the study considers the interaction of women with social services and the legal system, showing that women took an active role in defining and sustaining respectable society, even as the government in turn sought to constrain them to respectable behavior.
Issue Date: 1995
Type: Text
Language: English
Rights Information: Copyright 1995 McVay, Pamela Anne
Date Available in IDEALS: 2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog: AAI9543668
OCLC Identifier: (UMI)AAI9543668

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