POPULAR CULTURES 1978 – Peter Burke, Popular Culture in Early

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POPULAR CULTURES 1978 – Peter Burke,

Popular Culture in Early Modern Europe

Robert Muchembled,

Culture populaire et culture des élites dans la France Moderne (XVe-XVIIIe siècle)

 Already social historians such as Natalie Zemon Davis taking sociological and anthropological approaches to early modern culture   Historians of literature and witchcraft Popular vs elite culture (Muchembled) But also disputes regarding approaches, definition and interpretation:  ‘Is the History of Popular Culture Possible?’ (Scribner)  ‘The Dilemma of Popular History’ (Strauss and Beik)   

Understanding Popular Culture

(Kaplan, ed.) The New Cultural History – Foucault, Bourdieu, Derrida Popular cultures – no uniform experience Significance of ritual:  expression of communal values and customs  processions and festivals e.g. Conards at Rouen     public humiliation, moral regulation, e.g. charivari, cuckoldry mockery and satire e.g. skimmington role of popular religion safety valve for grievances and protest    also need to consider everyday activities exclusive as well as inclusive, increasing marginalisation attacked by emphasis on patriarchy and hierarchy Popular literature:  prints, woodcuts, chapbooks, ballads, almanachs  recapture elusive oral culture e.g. punctuation (Chartier)   literate vs semi-literate culture? consumer overlap Muchembled et al:  Religious change: Reformations suppress popular religion through emphasis on order and conformity  Political change: increased centralisation curbs popular culture through emphasis on order and conformity  Economic change: increased population and instability leads to acceptance of imposition  of order and conformity Clark et al extremely critical of underlying assumptions Another approach:  centralised/uniformity vs localised/diversity  reflects political geography e.g. rural/urban distinction  resilience of popular culture  test case = witchcraft prosecution

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