SammendragNorsk Folkemuseum/Norwegian Museum of Cultural History has a small collection of photographic portraits of prisoners, dated 1866-1872. In many ways, these portraits resemble the visiting-card photographs that became immensely popular from the 1860s onwards. Portraying both male and female prisoners and referring to a variety of criminal offences, the photographs when compared with court records shed light on the way in which prison authorities and the judiciary at the time constructed gendered criminal categories. Against this background, the main focus of the article is to discuss to what extent people in conflict with the law could question these categories and introduce alternative representations of themselves and their actions.
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