Conclusion: The Social Significance of Crime Broadsides—Bonding Not Binding

  • Kate BatesEmail author


This chapter will conclude the book by synthesising the historical and criminological analysis. It will argue that it was no coincidence that broadside publication peaked during the first half of the nineteenth century, as this was a period of violent transition and severe social strain. The disintegrating forces of industrialisation and urbanisation were at their most destructive then but, by the middle of the century, society had slowly adapted to the crisis and a period of relative stability and consensus was reached. It will be argued that broadsides, before succumbing to intense competition from increasingly cheaper forms of newspaper, played their part in this social integration by affording the working class a means to bolster a sense of security and community. In a world of social disorder and moral distance, these public declarations of punishment and morality, in their own small way, helped to consolidate and celebrate collective core values.


Broadsides Nineteenth century Crime Durkheim Popular culture Social function Moral communication Common morality Mentalities Emotion Solidarity Consensus Crime history Social theory 


  1. Black, Jeremy, and Donald MacRaild. 2000. Studying History. 2nd ed. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  2. Burke, Peter. 2005. History and Social Theory. 2nd ed. Cambridge: Polity Press.Google Scholar
  3. Godfrey, Barry, Emsley, Clive, and Graeme Dunstall. 2003. “Introduction: Do You Have Plane-spotters in New Zealand? Issues in Comparative Crime History at the Turn of Modernity.” In Comparative Histories of Crime, edited by Barry Godfrey, Clive Emsley, and Graeme Dunstall, 1–35. Cullompton: Willan.Google Scholar
  4. Harrison, Robert. 2004. “History and Sociology.” In Making History: An Introduction to the History and Practices of a Discipline, edited by Peter Lambert and Phillipp Schofield, 138–149. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  5. King, Peter. 1999. “Locating Histories of Crime: A Bibliographical Study.” British Journal of Criminology 39 (1): 161–174.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Liverpool John Moores UniversityLiverpoolUK

Personalised recommendations