Conceptualising childhood as a relational status: parenting adult children in sixteenth-century England

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    Abstract

    This article explores the status of child as a relational one, defined by the power dynamics between parents and children rather than the young age of the individual. This approach complicates historiographical perspectives on the transition between childhood and adulthood, usually defined by historians as independence from parental regulation. Analysis of family correspondence from early modern England is used as a case study to explore conflicting patriarchal ideals that encouraged individuals to become independent householders, but also venerated filial obedience. It shows the broader application of this research to historians considering age as a category of analysis.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)309-330
    Number of pages22
    JournalContinuity and Change: A Journal of Social Structure, Law and Demography in Past Societies
    Volume36
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2021

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