Barbara Crosbie, ‘The Rising Generations: Age Relations and Cultural Change in Eighteenth-Century England’ (7 avril)

Jeudi 7 avril de 17h à 18h30 – Salle D040 à Serpente

De façon exceptionnelle, l’intervenante sera à distance. Lien de connexion disponible auprès de Stéphane Jettot jettot(at)yahoo.com

 

BARBARA CROSBIE (DURHAM), “The Rising Generations: Age Relations and Cultural Change in Eighteenth-Century England”

The eighteenth century is not generally associated with the formation of social generations, and yet contemporaries were clearly aware of their place within distinct generational cohorts. The interactions between these age groups were an important driver of cultural change as the experience of older adults inexorably gave way to the expectations of each rising generation. It is this process of intergenerational transition that is placed under the spotlight in this paper, with age providing both the subject of study and the framework for a discussion about the process of historical change.   

 

Attention is centred on the generational divisions that spilled into the political arena in Newcastle upon Tyne during the general election of 1774, as youthful demands for autonomy became conflated with political demands for reform. Seeking to understand how and why this age-based tension arose leads back to the nurseries and schoolrooms in which formative years were spent, and traverses the volatile terrain of adolescence, before arriving in the adult world of fashion and politics. This exposes the roots of the political faction that emerged as the mid-century children reached adulthood, making it possible to map the often circuitous links between child’s play and a contested election. But more than this, it provides an analytical structure that obliges us to recognise that people lived through not in the past.