Controlling Women: Women, Crime, & Social Control


Dr. Maria Febbo

TuTh 3:05-4:20pm

Why do most women and girls conform to prevailing expectations for gendered behavior? What happens to them when they break social norms and laws? This course examines how social institutions, like family, school, and government, use rules, regulations, and social pressure to shape girls’ and women’s beliefs and behaviors. We study how mechanisms of informal control (socialization) and formal control (laws) impact girls and women historically, medically, socially, and politically. Because the criminal justice system is one of the main institutions that regulates social order, we pay special attention to women and girls in the criminal-legal system.

Examines how social institutions exert social control over girls and women by creating, recreating, and transmitting cultural norms, values, beliefs, and practices. Reveals how these cultural components shape women's and girls' lives historically, medically, socially, and politically. Highlights intersectionality and women and girls in the criminal-legal system. Probes various ethical issues, including differential application of rules and regulations, victimization, sentencing guidelines, school-to-prison pipeline, mass incarceration, capital punishment, political disenfranchisement, and medicalization of women's and girls' bodies.
Photo of woman from neck to midriff with cuffs on wrist standing in front of white cinderblock wall with closed hands lifted in front of chest.
Curriculum Codes
  • SS
Cross-Listed As
  • GSF 246
Typically Offered