Collective Violence, Social Drama and Rituals of Rebellion in Late Medieval and Early Modern England

Wood, Andy (2007) Collective Violence, Social Drama and Rituals of Rebellion in Late Medieval and Early Modern England. In: Cultures of Violence. Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 99-116. ISBN 0230019455

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Rituals of rebellion, protest and resistance deserve a book-length study. This would be a demanding enterprise. The author of such a work would need the skills of a folklorist, an ethnographer and a social historian; and the work would have to transcend traditional chronological divisions between the medieval, early modern and modern periods. This need to break down conventional periodization stems from the widespread recognition amongst historians that some rituals of rebellion persisted over long periods. These included, for instance, the rituals of inversion known to the French as charivari, or in the English West country as skimmingtons, in which men dressed as women and marched in rowdy processions while other members of the crowd beat pots and pans in what was known as ‘rough music’. This particular ritual form endured in some villages into the early twentieth century. Such rituals were intended to indicate that the social or moral order had been infringed or transgressed in some way — such as common land being enclosed, or men being beaten or scolded by what were regarded as inappropriately assertive wives. Some skimmingtons might end in a collective assault upon the transgressive individual.

Item Type: Book Section
Uncontrolled Keywords: sdg 16 - peace, justice and strong institutions ,/dk/atira/pure/sustainabledevelopmentgoals/peace_justice_and_strong_institutions
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > School of History
Depositing User: EPrints Services
Date Deposited: 01 Oct 2010 13:57
Last Modified: 19 Mar 2024 16:30
DOI: 10.1057/9780230591820_5

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