HIST 251 - Lecture 4 - Communities: Key Institutions and Relationships

Lecture 4 - Communities: Key Institutions and Relationships


Professor Wrightson begins by discussing how modern perceptions of the "traditional" community have informed the manner in which the early modern social landscape is discussed. From here he moves on to address the lived reality of community and social bonds in the period. The roles that the intertwined ideas of lordship and tenancy, custom, neighborliness and social "credit" played in rural manors and parishes are examined, as are urban institutions like the guilds, and relationships of kinship more generally. Professor Wrightson argues that the social bonds of community and neighborliness were indeed key features of early modern society and could occupy a pivotal position in people's lives, but also warns that communities could also be restrictive and riven by conflicts and tensions. While recognizing the importance of bonds of mutual obligation, we must not sentimentalize them.


Wrightson, English Society, chapter 2

Course Media





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