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Save the Womanhood!Vice, Urban Immorality and Social Control in Liverpool, c. 1900-1976$
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Samantha Caslin

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781786941251

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781786941251.001.0001

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White Slavery and Social Purists’ Authority

White Slavery and Social Purists’ Authority

(p.106) 5 White Slavery and Social Purists’ Authority
Save the Womanhood!

Samantha Caslin

Liverpool University Press

This chapter unpacks social purists’ commitment to the notion of ‘white slavery’ during the inter- and post-war years. Focusing on the work of the Liverpool Vigilance Association (LVA), the chapter argues that this organisation used white slavery to construct their patrolling and moral surveillance of women as necessary to the maintenance of urban social order. By working with only a vague notion of white slavery, the LVA were able to imprecisely apply this term to their case work. Young women from marginalised communities, particularly Irish and working-class women, were presented by the organisation as being vulnerable to white slavery. Despite their records showing little engagement with women involved in forced prostitution, the LVA’s continual allusions to white slavery enabled their patrollers to further their image as experts in the moral protection of women and the organisation’s references to white slavery were used to try to generate donations from LVA supporters.

Keywords:   Class, Expertise, Immorality, Mobility, Trafficking, Vigilance Association

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