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Publication details for Professor Andy WoodWood, Andy (2006). Subordination, solidarity and the limits of popular agency in a Yorkshire valley, c.1596-1615. Past and Present 193(1): 41-72.
- Publication type: Journal Article
- ISSN/ISBN: 0031-2746, 1477-464X
- DOI: 10.1093/pastj/gtl011
- Further publication details on publisher web site
- Durham Research Online (DRO) - may include full text
Author(s) from Durham
Over the past decade, social historians of early modern England have found themselves drawn to the study of popular politics. Unlike earlier approaches to the subject, which tended to focus upon unitary processes of ‘politicization’, the new social history of politics has developed a broader sense of the political, centred upon power relations, agency and resistance.1 Most notably, this new social history of politics has questioned the validity of older approaches to the political, which tended to present early modern society as an organic hierarchy defined by popular deference and the uncritical acceptance of authority. Thus, Mark Kishlansky’s assumption that ‘in early modern England, political activity took place within the context of a hierarchical social structure and theocentric universe’, and that ‘social relations’ were conducted within ‘complex notions of honour, standing, and deference . . . [which] helped to regulate and absorb conflict between and within loosely defined status groups’ has in recent years been questioned. Whereas Kishlansky believed that early modern society was defined by ‘symbiotic relationships’, the new social historians of politics have emphasized the fluidity of power relations, the contingent nature of deference and the contested relationship between governor and governed.2