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dc.contributor.authorMacNeil, William
dc.description.abstractIn one of the most suggestive asides in Great Expectations, Joe Gargery, the novel's moral centre (and, as it turns out, most perspicacious critic) says of his formidable wife, Mrs. Joe: 'Your sister is given to government'. This remark, as Joe himself might exclaim, is 'astonishing', precisely because it anticipates and even underwrites a certain critical (legal) reading of Great Expectations, one indebted to that great theorist of 'governmentality', Michel Foucault. Now, only recently, a fine and full Foucauldian reading of Great Expectations has been assayed: namely, Jeremy Tambling's 'Prison-Bound: Dickens and Foucault'. Tambling makes a strong case for a 'Foucauldian Dickens', meticulously cataloguing the disciplinary devices (the Prison, the panoptical gaze, the carceral society) and punishment motifs (fantasies of guilt and shame) which saturate, indeed oversaturate Great Expectations. In stressing, however, Foucault's earlier project of discipline and punish,Tambling ends up inadvertently reproducing, albeit within a much more sophisticated theoretical frame, the historicist insights and observations of an earlier generation of scholarship on Dickens and the law: for example, Philip Collins on the Prison; Humphrey House on Bentham; and the Leavises on guilt and shame. In this article, I want to break this cycle of critical repetition (which mimics the repetitions, doublings and foldings-in of the narrative), and shift the debate away from standard socio-legal discussions of Dickens- be they old historicist or early Foucauldian-, and towards what I take to be the key historical, political and, especially, jurisprudential issue of Great Expectations: specifically, the emergence of 'governmentality' in Victorian society, political economy and law.
dc.publisherAustralian Feminist Law Foundation
dc.publisher.placeParkville, Vic
dc.relation.ispartofjournalAustralian Feminist Law Journal
dc.subject.fieldofresearchCultural Studies
dc.titleBeyond Governmentality: Retributive, Distributive and Deconstructive Justice in 'Great Expectations'
dc.typeJournal article
dc.type.descriptionC1 - Articles
dc.type.codeC - Journal Articles
gro.facultyArts, Education & Law Group, School of Law
gro.hasfulltextNo Full Text
gro.griffith.authorMacNeil, William P.

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