Date of Award


Publication Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name



Social Work

First Advisor

Ilcan, S.


Sociology, Criminology and Penology.




Bill C-49 was enacted in the Canadian Criminal Code in 1992. For the first time in Canadian legal history this new legislation provided a definition of consent as it applies to sexual assault offences. The enactment of Bill C-49 by Parliament was clearly aimed at resolving problems that emerged within legal proceedings dealing with sexual assault. Bill C-49 was therefore enacted to govern the legal proceedings of sexual assault cases and actors of the juridical field. The courts, in turn, have adopted complex heterogeneous ways of dealing with, and managing their relations in light of, the legislative amendments of Bill C-49. Employing a feminist understanding of governance in the context of sexual assault, I argue that determinations of consent are governed by a complex assemblage of legal rationalities, expert knowledges and responsibilization strategies employed by judicial actors in sexual assault cases. The various ways that these governing mechanisms link up and contest with one another plays an essential role in determinations of consent. More specifically, the degree to which these governing mechanisms interconnect reflects elaborate power/knowledge relations within the juridical field that arise from, but also perpetuate, normative constructions of gender and heterosexuality. Determinations of consent therefore constitute a contested site where power is exercised through competing rationalities, knowledges and strategies of various actors within the juridical field.Dept. of Sociology and Anthropology. Paper copy at Leddy Library: Theses & Major Papers - Basement, West Bldg. / Call Number: Thesis2002 .O45. Source: Masters Abstracts International, Volume: 41-04, page: 0971. Adviser: Suzan Ilcan. Thesis (M.A.)--University of Windsor (Canada), 2002.