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    Work and identity in Early Modern England

    Hailwood, M. and Waddell, Brodie (2023) Work and identity in Early Modern England. Transactions of the Royal Historical Society , ISSN 0080-4401.

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    Abstract

    How did work shape people's identity before industrial capitalism? It is a question that early modernists have never really got to grips with. Thanks to decades of research by social and cultural historians, we now have a much better understanding of how people in the past saw themselves and labelled those around them. But until recently scholars of early modern England have had surprisingly little to say about how a person's working life – their occupation, trade, vocation or livelihood – influenced their social identity. This essay is therefore an attempt to synthesise recent research on the subject into a more explicit historiographical intervention. Early modernists need to broaden their research to consider ‘working identities’ as a whole, rather than merely the narrower concept of ‘occupational identities’. By exploring how work influenced a person's self-image and social role, we can reshape our understanding of broader social relations in this period and challenge some of the ‘grand narratives’ of early modern social and economic change.

    Metadata

    Item Type: Article
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): labour, identity, class, gender, occupation
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Historical Studies
    Depositing User: Brodie Waddell
    Date Deposited: 18 May 2023 14:48
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 18:21
    URI: https://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/51202

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