‘burdenit…with the bringing up of the yowth’: a study of masculinities at the University of St Andrews, 1580-1606

Thompson, Ashley (2022) ‘burdenit…with the bringing up of the yowth’: a study of masculinities at the University of St Andrews, 1580-1606. MRes thesis, University of Glasgow.

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This thesis explores the presentation of, and interaction between, different masculine practices present at the University of St Andrews during the period in which the educational reformer Andrew Melville was teaching there (1580-1606). Building on Füssell’s assertion that early modern academics constituted a separate social group and engaging with Connell’s concept of ‘hegemonic masculinities’, this thesis will argue that the masculinities of masters were different to those of other social groups in Scotland but that there was significant variation between the masculinities of masters within the university itself. This research determines that there was no observable hegemonic masculinity and no clear hierarchy between different masculine practices, despite the university environment aligning with Griffin’s use of the concept ‘communication community’ – where certain masculine practices were encouraged and promoted through shared mechanisms in a specific group. Through analysing records from the University of St Andrews, printed sources and manuscript collections (such as the Balcarres Papers), it is clear that the ideologies of masters, their approaches to family life and their teaching practices were hugely varied but, for the most part, coexisted with each other. The evidence also points to specific practices, such as the skill of disputation, being instilled in students, creating a standard of behaviour which academics promoted. Finally, the external influences of town-gown relations and the impact of the king on the university have been considered, in order to determine how influential these other groups were on the masculinities present within the university. This thesis asserts that although the university was an enclosed and exclusive space, these external groups did exert a considerable influence on the masculine behaviours enacted within the university.

Item Type: Thesis (MRes)
Qualification Level: Masters
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
L Education > LA History of education
Colleges/Schools: College of Arts > School of Humanities > History
Supervisor's Name: Reid, Dr. Steven and Cheadle, Dr. Tanya
Date of Award: 2022
Depositing User: Theses Team
Unique ID: glathesis:2022-83336
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 05 Jan 2023 09:19
Last Modified: 05 Jan 2023 09:21
Thesis DOI: 10.5525/gla.thesis.83336
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/83336

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