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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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The Violence of Manhood

The Violence of Manhood

(p.127) 5 The Violence of Manhood
Meanings of Manhood in Early Modern England


Oxford University Press

Violence was both a tool for enforcing the patriarchal imperatives of household and social order and one of the primary means of undermining them, either by lending weight to counter-codes of manhood, or, more commonly, featuring in assertions of manhood claimed independently of a patriarchal agenda. Violence was a form of discipline, a demonstration of male strength and authority, and a method of territorial demarcation. This chapter attempts to chart the boundaries between acceptable and unacceptable violence, using cases of assault in order to show how male honour codes both bolstered and countered patriarchal codes of order, depending on the context of the dispute and the status of those involved.

Keywords:   violence, discipline, assault, male honour

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