Youth and Authority: Formative Experiences in England 1560-1640 by Paul Griffiths

Youth and Authority: Formative Experiences in England 1560-1640

byPaul Griffiths

Hardcover | May 1, 1995

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It is now well-known that there was a separate age of youth in sixteenth-and seventeenth-century society (and before) but in much of the writing on this subject, youth has emerged as a passive construct of the adult society, lacking formative experiences. Paul Griffiths seeks to redress thisimbalance by presenting a more `positive' image of young people, showing that they had a creative presence, an identity, and a historical significance which has never been fully explored. The author looks beyond the prescriptive codes of moralists and governors to survey the attitudes and activities of young people, examining their reaction to authority and to society's concept of the `ideal place' for them in the social order. He sheds new light on issues as diverse as juveniledelinquency, masculinity, the celebration of Shrovetide, sexual behaviour and courtship, clothing, catechizing, office-holding, vocabularies of insult, prostitution, and church seating plans. His research reveals much about the nature of youth culture, religious commitment, and master/servantrelations, and leads to the identification of a separate milieu of `masterless' young people. Contemporary moralists called youth `the choosing time', a time of great risks and great potential; and the best time to incalculate political conformity and sound religion. Yet the concept of choice was double-edged, it recognized that young people had other options besides these expectations.This ambiguity is a central theme of theis book which demonstrates that although there was a critical politics of age during this period, young people had their own initiatives and strategies and grew up in all sorts of ways.

About The Author

Paul Griffiths is a Lecturer in Economic and Social History at University of Leicester.
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Details & Specs

Title:Youth and Authority: Formative Experiences in England 1560-1640Format:HardcoverDimensions:472 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 1.3 inPublished:May 1, 1995Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198204752

ISBN - 13:9780198204756

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It is now well known that there was a separate age of youth in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century society (and before) but in much of the writing on this subject, youth has emerged as a passive construct of the adult society, lacking formative experiences. Paul Griffiths seeks to redress this imbalance by presenting a more 'positive' image of young people, showing that they had a creative presence, an identity, and a historical significance which has never been fully explored. The author looks beyond the prescriptive codes of moralists and governors to survey the attitudes and activities of young people, examining their responses to authority and to the 'ideal place' for them in the social order, as understood by contemporary magistrates and moralists. He sheds new light on issues as diverse as juvenile delinquency, masculinity, the celebration of Shrovetide, sexual behaviour and courtship, clothing, catechizing, officeholding, vocabularies of insult, prostitution, and church seating plans. His research reveals much about the nature of youth culture, religious com

Editorial Reviews

`The source base is large and Griffiths makes particularly good use of municipal court records, asking plenty of interesting questions and discovering the material to supply the answers. The bibliography will be a wonderful tool for future researchers.'Linda Pollock, Tulane University, The Economic History Review, Volume L, No. 1, February 1997