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The Later Middle Ages$
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Isabella Lazzarini

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9780198731641

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2021

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198731641.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 17 October 2021

Society, family, and gender

Society, family, and gender

(p.171) 6 Society, family, and gender
The Later Middle Ages

Catherine Kovesi

Oxford University Press

A shared understanding of Christianity as the foundation of society in this life and in the next; a predominant acceptance of classical Greek texts for understandings of the human body and of sexual differences between men and women; an overwhelming dependence on patriarchal structures with implications for constructions and experiences of masculinity and femininity; and an ideal of family and of community relationships (whether secular or religious) from which no individual could readily claim isolation were touchstones throughout late medieval Europe against which normative values were constructed. Marginalized and often persecuted groups, such as Jews, sodomites, or heretics, were understood and defined against this normative backdrop. That said, by the end of the period increasing political and legal consolidation of societal structures led to their interrogation by those whom these same structures excluded or constrained. The result is an image of surprising fluidity and change in society, family, and gender.

Keywords:   gender studies, family, patriarchy, Christine de Pizan, dowry, marriage, masculinity, femininity, sexuality, querelle des femmes

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