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Title: Vice beyond the pale : representing 'white slavery' in Britain, c.1880 - 1912
Author: Attwood, R. C.
Awarding Body: University College London (University of London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2013
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This thesis will explore the discourses of ‘white slavery’, as used to represent the traffic in women and girls for the purposes of sexual exploitation during the first chapter of the history of trafficking in Britain between c.1880 and 1912. It will trace the reconfigurations to these discourses and seek to locate their wider significance(s). How did ‘white slavery’, as a means of thinking about sexual danger in specific times and places, function and why was it made to function in this way? What does its application tell us about the society in which discourses of ‘white slavery’ had resonance? What is the significance of sex trafficking in modern Britain? It will approach this task by analysing, contextualizing and comparing the discourses of ‘white slavery’ that emerged during each of three distinct moments in the history of trafficking in Britain, namely, the scandal over the exploitation of British girls on the near Continent between 1880 and 1882, the proliferation of an international anti-trafficking movement in an age of mass-migration between 1899 and 1910, and the struggle for a Criminal Law Amendment Act to combat trafficking in 1912. Focus will be on the discourses of the individuals and groups rallying against trafficking but the discourses of those dismissive of the need for action against such exploitation will also be considered for the insight these negative voices provide into perceptions of trafficking. This process not only promises to improve our understanding of the nature and implications of the phenomenon of trafficking throughout the years under examination. It also promises to improve our understanding of organized responses to systematic sex crimes against women in modern British history and, moreover, our understanding of the nature of hegemony and the loci of power in society during turn-of-the-century Britain.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available