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Defiled Trades and Social Outcasts : Honor and Ritual Pollution in Early Modern Germany - Kathy Stuart

Defiled Trades and Social Outcasts

Honor and Ritual Pollution in Early Modern Germany

Hardcover Published: 26th June 2000
ISBN: 9780521652391
Number Of Pages: 300

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This book presents a social and cultural history of 'dishonourable people' (unehrliche Leute), an outcast group in early modern Germany. Executioners, skinners, grave-diggers, shepherds, barber-surgeons, millers, linen-weavers, sow-gelders, latrine-cleaners, and bailiffs were among the 'dishonourable' by virtue of their trades. This dishonour was either hereditary, often through several generations, or it arose from ritual pollution whereby honourable citizens could become dishonourable by coming into casual contact with members of the outcast group. The dishonourable milieu of the city of Augsburg from the sixteenth to the eighteenth century is reconstructed, to show the extent to which dishonour determined the life-chances and self-identity of dishonourable people. The book then investigates how honourable estates interacted with dishonourable people, and how the pollution anxieties of early modern Germans structured social and political relations within honourable society.

Industry Reviews

'This is a splendid book, carefully honed over several years, beautifully written, and a delight to read.' David Warren Sabean, Journal of Social History 'Rarely has an anthropologically informed study been joined with such careful attention to local judicial records.This is an excellent book.' H. C. Erik Midelfort, American Historical Review '... Kathy Stuart has written an important and original book that deserves to be read by a wide circle of scholars.' R. Po-chia Hsia, Central European History 'This award-winning monograph represents a major contribution to our understanding of marginal groups and artisanal culture through its functional analysis of the mechanisms of prejudice.' David Lederer, German History

List of illustrations
List of abbreviations
Introduction: defiled trades
The Meaning of Dishonor in Early Modern Society
Medieval versus early modern dishonor
Honor, status and pollution
The Dishonorable Milieu
The status of executioners and skinners, 1500âÇô1700
Living on the periphery of dishonor
Paradoxical Dishonor: Punishment and Healing
The infamous fur coat, or the unintended consequences of social discipline
The executioner's healing touch: health and honor in early modern German medical practice
Artisanal Honor and Urban Politics
Guardians of honor: artisans versus magistrates
Honor and dishonor in the eighteenth century
Conclusion: dishonor and the society of orders
Select bibliography
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780521652391
ISBN-10: 0521652391
Series: Cambridge Studies in Early Modern History
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 300
Published: 26th June 2000
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 15.49 x 23.62  x 2.29
Weight (kg): 0.59