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Regular version of the site

Book chapter

Degeneracy and Abuse: Attitudes to Violence Against Parents in Nineteenth-Century Russia

P. 57-78.
Muravyeva M. G.

‘Degeneracy and Abuse: Attitudes to Violence Against Parents in Nineteenth-Century Russia’ by Marianna Muravyeva picks up on the consequent changes in the understanding of parricide as a mental and medical problem. Muravyeva highlights the shift in explanations of parricide that occurred in the nineteenth century, when it became a focus of degeneracy theory. Treating parricide as a consequence of the perpetrator’s mental illness due to the possession of a degenerate heritage provided a pacifying explanation for both the community and the authorities, meaning they would not have to deal with the greater problems brought about by changes in family organization and relationships occurring at the heart of the modernizing society.