ERIC Number: ED250218
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984-Jun
Reference Count: 0
Gender and the Social Order in Early Modern England.
Amussen, Susan Dwyer
The place of the family and the relationship between gender and social order in England between 1560 and 1725 are examined. The fear of disorder so prevalent in England in the late 16th and early 17th centuries was caused by the doubling of the population and extremely poor economic conditions. In the attempt to enforce order, the analogy between the family and the state (i.e., the family provides a model for all social and political relations) became prevalent. Discussed within this context are the patriarchal political theory, how the family was described by early modern English household manuals, and how the restoration changed the way the judicial systems maintained social order. After the Restoration, population growth stabilized, real wages began to rise, and the poor, while still present, seemed less threatening. In such a situation, strict enforcement of gender and familial relations became less necessary; their symbolic role in affirming social and political order was no longer crucial. It was in this context that John Locke and others came to see and define the family as a private and natural institution instead of a public, social institution. (RM)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: England; English History; Social Order
Note: Paper presented at the Berkshire Conference on the History of Women (6th, North Hampton, MA, June 1984).