e-space
Manchester Metropolitan University's Research Repository

Status, gender and life cycle in the consumption practices of the English elite. The case of Mary Leigh, 1736–1806

Stobart, J (2015) Status, gender and life cycle in the consumption practices of the English elite. The case of Mary Leigh, 1736–1806. Social History, 40 (1). pp. 82-103. ISSN 0307-1022

[img]
Preview

Download (581kB) | Preview

Abstract

The consumption practices of the elite have received a great deal of attention from historians over the years. The role of women (and gender) is mostly considered in the context of married couples, and therefore at a particular stage in the life cycle, with emphasis placed on the complementary role of husband and wife in the household economy. We know less about the consumption behaviour of single women, especially the ways in which this developed over their lifecourse, singleness being seen as a passing stage rather than a long-term condition for many elite women. This article takes a case study approach to explore in detail how consumption and shopping behaviour was shaped by gender, status and family, and how the relative importance of these changed over the lifecourse of the individual. It focuses in particular on what was bought from whom and the factors shaping the choice of supplier, and argues that single status gave women freedom to act, but that this was framed by the obligations of status and the constraints of family. Landownership, of course, brought responsibilities as well as opportunities that shaped spending; but family as lineage was especially important in shaping patterns and geographies of spending.

Impact and Reach

Statistics

Downloads
Activity Overview
131Downloads
148Hits

Additional statistics for this dataset are available via IRStats2.

Altmetric

Actions (login required)

Edit Item Edit Item