the medieval period see S. Rigby,
English Society in the Later Middle Ages: Class, Status and Gender (Basingstoke:
Macmillan, 1995). See also N. Abercrombie, S. Hill and B. S. Turner, The Dominant
Ideology Thesis (London: Allen & Unwin, 1980); M. Weber, Economy and Society: An
Outline of Interpretive Sociology, ed. Guenther Roth and Claus Wittich (3 vols, New
York: Bedminster Press, 1968).
8 F. M. Stenton, The First Century of English Feudalism, 1066 –1166 (Oxford: Clarendon
Press, 1932; 2nd edn, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1961).
9 Ibid., p. 55.
10 See his analysis of
. Sociologists have studied modern shoes in detail and as dress items they are varied and gender dependent, and they intermingle with bodies and identities in practical, semiotic and symbolic ways. As an analogy, shoes are symbiotic with the human body and have a role to play within relationships – sexy shoes, dress shoes, work shoes or sports shoes for example. Understanding this relationship between objects and people and the role of material culture in the interaction of people is important and so the sociology of shoes provides a more holistic way to understand early Anglo
My interpretation of the Finnsburg episode owes much to Actor-Network theory and its understanding of collectivity as one way in which human and non-human entities might associate with one another in ways that supersede traditional ideas about agency. For a comprehensive study of collectivity and its relationship to human ideas of community, see Bruno Latour, Reassembling the social: an introduction to Actor-Network Theory (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005); Michel Callon, ‘Some elements of a sociology of
actually been predicated on a readiness to simplify the fiend’s role in
the narrative, diminishing equivocations which (it will here be argued)
make that role socially significant, at least in one of the two surviving
manuscript versions. While the present essay is by no means hostile to
religious interpretation – and will in fact propose some elaboration of it
– a primary concern in my discussion will be to focus sociological implications in Sir Gowther. Here is a narrative that emphatically addresses
what Stephen Knight considers to be endemic in the
parenthetically in the
Childress, ‘Between romance and legend’, p. 316.
Siege of Melayne 41
14 Shepherd, ‘Journee’, pp. 128, 129.
15 Suzanne Conklin Akbari, ‘Imagining Islam: the role of images in medieval depictions of Muslims’, Scripta Mediterranea, 19–20 (1998–99), 9–27.
16 Six Middle English Romances, ed. Mills, p. xiii.
17 Patrick Geary, ‘Humiliation of saints’, in Stephen Wilson (ed.), Saints and
their Cults: Studies in Religious Sociology, Folklore, and History (Cambridge,
1983), pp. 123–40. Hardman similarly notes the
references to households are a part of Anglo-Saxon language. For example, David Pelteret has argued that the word inhired was used to refer to the sociological household in a societal and not a legal sense. In this case in - is a prefix which denoted the household association, inpeow therefore being a slave associated directly with the household (Pelteret, 1995 : 43). Terms like this defined a household slave, meaning there were also non-household slaves not situated within the immediate household but still under the charge of the household head. Even so, it was the
, it also
reflects changes in stance and in historical and sociological valuations, as
well as reactions to popular views and feelings towards those who had
abandoned the Jewish religion and chose to live within the Christian
world. From the twelfth century on, there is substantive difficulty in
arriving at a clear halakhic decision regarding the issue of those who
became Christians. To people of that time, the earlier, inclusive approach
of Rashi seemed excessive, but neither did they wish to explicitly state that
they had given up hope of the apostates’ return to