Saha 2010 Investigations

Title Information

Author: Jonathan Saha

Title: The male state

Subtitle: Colonialism, corruption and rape investigations in the Irrawaddy Delta c.1900

Journal: The Indian Economic and Social History Review

Volume: 47

Issue: 3

Year: 2010

Pages: 343-376

ISSN: 0019-4646 – Find a Library: WordCat | eISSN: 0973-0893 – Find a Library: WordCat


Keywords: 19th Century, 20th Century | Burmese History, English History | Prosecution: Police

Full Text

Link: SAGE Journals [Restricted Access]

Additional Information

Author: Jonathan Saha, Department of History, University of Bristol

Abstract: »At the turn of the twentieth century British colonial officials imagined women in Burma to be distinctly more liberated than their sisters in other quarters of British India, but this posed a set of specific problems. The perceived influence women held over their husbands in official positions led to fears that they caused corruption. Women represented private interests infiltrating public duties. Thus the desired, normative subordinate colonial official was assertively masculine and in a position of authority over their female spouse. In this colonial desire there was a curious parallel with the everyday acts of misconduct committed by subordinate officials that was most apparent in rape investigations. Indigenous women faced great difficulties, even dangers, when seeking redress for crimes of gendered violence due to the machinations of subordinate state employees. High-ranking British officials demonstrated at best indifference, at worst suspicion, concerning women’s accusations. These everyday acts of subordinate officials were more important in gendering the colonial state than has been previously recognised.« [Source: Indian Economic and Social History Review]


  Women in Burma (and their Henpecked Husbands) (p. 346)
  Compromising Situations (p. 355)
  Misconduct and Gendered Violence (p. 362)
  Conclusion (p. 373)
  References (p. 374)

Added: November 23, 2013 | Last updated: November 23, 2013