Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Medieval Single WomenThe Politics of Social Classification in Late Medieval England$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Cordelia Beattie

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199283415

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199283415.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 05 December 2020

Classification in Cultural Context

Classification in Cultural Context

Chapter:
(p.13) 1 Classification in Cultural Context
Source:
Medieval Single Women
Author(s):

Cordelia Beattie (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199283415.003.0002

This chapter explores the associations that accrue to certain categories through their repeated use in particular contexts by influential cultural discourses. It argues that use of the categories ‘virgin’ and ‘widow’ in a widely disseminated religious discourse about chastity means that the categories often carry with them associations of chastity, which could influence their use in other discourses, even when chastity is not an overt concern. Femme sole has specific meaning as a legal construct in late medieval England and these associations might similarly imprint themselves on the term and its Latin and Middle English variants, even when the legal construct itself is not being intentionally evoked. The chapter also reviews the arguments about how marriage and thus non-marriage was affected by demographic and economic changes after the Black Death, and whether this had some bearing on the use of the category ‘single woman’ in contemporary texts.

Keywords:   virgin, widow, chastity, femme sole, single woman, marriage, Black Death

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .