Asian Review

Publication Date



This paper argues that, in the case of crimes of passion, women's groups should not demand a single standard of punishment for both men and women, and the abolition of the judge's discretion, but rather a different framework for understanding anger in the case of men and women respectively. The judgment in the controversial "Doctor Killing his Wife" case, committed five years ago in Bangkok, suggests that the understanding of emotion or passion on the pan of the judge, and possibly of the Thai justice system, is non-cognitive. As a result, any deep understanding of the mentality and of the impact of the socio-cultural environment on mentality is blocked. I give a brief outline of traditional Thai cultural settings to illustrate the social construction of emotion, and the different paradigm scenarios allowed for "appropriate" anger for men and women. In some cases of rage-killings by women, the rage has to be viewed not just on an individual basis, but also on a group basis, i.e. as an act of resistance by a member of an oppressed group.



First Page


Last Page


Included in

Asian Studies Commons



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.