Luxury, Gender and the Urban Experience

Marjo Kaartinen, Anne Montenach, Deborah Leigh Simonton

Publikation: Kapitel i bog/rapport/konference-proceedingKapitel i bogForskningpeer review


The three hundred year period between the 1650s and 1950s traces the emergence, diversification and developing hegemony of the town in the history of Europe. As places which fostered and disseminated key social, economic, political and cultural developments, towns were central to the creation of gendered identities and the transmission of ideas across local, national and transnational boundaries. This book draws on research undertaken within a pan-European network of historians from twelve countries whose interests lie in examining the ways that the European urban experience was gendered over time and across borders. This book will mirror some of the concerns of the network and will focus on the operation of gender in three distinct, but interrelated, areas of urban study: the economic, the political and the spatial.
The three central themes speak directly to newer ideas of exploring the dynamics of culture – both as definition and as practice. Importantly, ‘political culture’ does not mean politics as it is usually defined, but refers to power and influence. Thus, how power was legitimated and understood was important in creating a space for women and for gendered political culture, which was not always contest and tension, but often collaboration and collusion. Similarly, urban economic culture is embedded in the meanings attributed to expertise, skill and ‘brotherhood’. However, commercial and capitalist culture increasing broke down much of the corporate protection that men had felt, while individual identity, class and status were often as important. In this context, masculinity and femininity became areas for dispute and renegotiation, a process that is fluid still. Ultimately ‘space and place’ are central to understanding the cultural dynamics of towns. The kinds of spaces that developed, the places that people could and did use, and the people who constructed them are all significant. Physical spaces operate as landmarks, as memory sites, and places of congregation and social intercourse. There is no doubt that the cultural investment of public spaces, particularly of urban spaces, is a complex process of appropriation and adaptation.
TitelLuxury and Gender in European Towns, 1700-1914
RedaktørerDeborah Simonton, Marjo Kaartinen, Anne Montenach
ISBN (Trykt)978-1-13-880316-9
StatusUdgivet - 2015
NavnRoutledge Studies in Cultural History


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