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Familicidal HeartsThe Emotional Styles of 211 Killers$
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Neil Websdale

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780195315417

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195315417.001.0001

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Familicide: A History

Familicide: A History

Chapter:
(p.87) 3 FAMILICIDE: A HISTORY
Source:
Familicidal Hearts
Author(s):

Neil Websdale

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195315417.003.003

Chapter 3 argues familicide appears confined to modern times; the period from 1755 in the United States. The chapter covers three historical periods: medieval, early modern and modern. The author notes the horror and allure of familicide emerge over the same period wherein we witness decreases in public violence such as branding, execution, and torture; increases in mannerly behavior and the suppression of strong emotions, and growing state monopolies over the use of legitimate violence. Therefore, the appearance and persistence of familicide in modern times is seemingly counter-intuitive. The author introduces the idea that familicide emerges as modern societies increasingly value successful companionate marriage, as love slowly becomes the basis for marriage, as men are increasingly seen as sole providers, and as families become more isolated from communities. Failure to meet these gender prescriptions generates intense shame that informs the decision to commit familicide.

Keywords:   modern era, companionate marriage, love, sole provider, gender prescriptions, shame, familicide, public violence

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