Cardiff University | Prifysgol Caerdydd ORCA
Online Research @ Cardiff 
WelshClear Cookie - decide language by browser settings

Defamation, gender and hierarchy in Late Medieval Yorkshire

Kane, Bronach 2018. Defamation, gender and hierarchy in Late Medieval Yorkshire. Social History 43 (3) , pp. 356-374. 10.1080/03071022.2018.1472886

[img]
Preview
PDF - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

Download (1MB) | Preview

Abstract

This article focuses on a late fourteenth-century defamation suit from the ecclesiastical court of York to demonstrate the granular nature of gender identity and homosocial cooperation and competition across status groups. In this case, a dispute between two gentry families developed into an accusation of sexual dishonour against the father of an unmarried pregnant woman. The analysis of networks of homosocial interaction reveals the gendered composition of reputation and identity at the social level. Male anxiety solidified around honesty in sexual and personal dealings, while concerns about social and religious status arose as the scandal became widely publicised. The study qualifies works on masculinity and insult in late-medieval society, demonstrating the significance of sexual honour and speech in men’s disputes over reputation. It also illustrates the extent to which patriarchal authority could be enforced through control over the sexual activity of dependent men. Despite the involvement of gentry and lower aristocratic parties, the perspectives of women and non-elite men are visible and reveal the limits of patriarchal control in gentry households. Thus, the article delineates the nature of disputes between elite and lower-status men, tracing the boundaries of reputations, as well as their protection and maintenance in periods of conflict.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: Published
Schools: History, Archaeology and Religion
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DL Northern Europe. Scandinavia
Publisher: Taylor & Francis (Routledge): SSH Titles
ISSN: 0307-1022
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 12 February 2018
Date of Acceptance: 4 February 2018
Last Modified: 20 Feb 2019 16:25
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/109023

Actions (repository staff only)

Edit Item Edit Item

Downloads

Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics