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Consumption and Gender in the Early Seventeenth-Century HouseholdThe World of Alice Le Strange$
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Jane Whittle and Elizabeth Griffiths

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199233533

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199233533.001.0001

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(p.239) 9 Conclusion
Consumption and Gender in the Early Seventeenth-Century Household

Jane Whittle

Elizabeth Griffiths

Oxford University Press

The conclusion emphasizes the holistic view of consumption provided by the book. Consumption was not just a relationship between people and things, but a relationship between people; the relationship between consumers and producers was much closer and more meaningful in early modern England than in the modern, or even eighteenth-century, economy. The early seventeenth-century was not necessarily more ‘traditional’ or stable; however, there is evidence of fashion and constant change. Emulation has been over-emphasized in existing discussions; instead, we should consider the transmission of consumer knowledge, which different social groups utilized as they saw fit. Both men and women took responsibility for consumption, but typically performed different roles: men asserted status through spending, while women aspired to good management and thrift.

Keywords:   consumption, fashion, emulation, status, thrift, gender roles

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