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Meanings of Manhood in Early Modern England$
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Alexandra Shepard

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780199299348

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199299348.001.0001

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Youthful Excess and Fraternal Bonding

Youthful Excess and Fraternal Bonding

(p.93) 4 Youthful Excess and Fraternal Bonding
Meanings of Manhood in Early Modern England


Oxford University Press

The boldest resistance to patriarchal concepts of order was performed by young men in the blatant rejection of ideals of manhood rooted in thrift, moderation, and self-control, in preference for a culture of excess. Youthful rioting, drinking, gambling, and sexual prowess was largely performed for, and validated by, their peers, and this chapter focuses on the fraternal bonds that facilitated young men's inversions of patriarchal norms. While these links were sufficiently important to overcome distinctions of social status, they were also brittle and fleeting because of fears surrounding male intimacy. It is argued that an element of competition was therefore present between men, even at this most homosocial phase of the life course.

Keywords:   youth, excess, drink culture, male bonding

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