Gender and Disorder in Early Modern Seville

TitleGender and Disorder in Early Modern Seville
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication1990
AuthorsPerry, Mary Elizabeth
Number of Pages206
PublisherPrinceton University Press
CityPrinceton, NJ
Abstract

In this exploration of crisis in Counter-Reformation Spain, the author reveals the significance of gender for social order by portraying the lives of women who lived on the margins of respectability--prostitutes, healers, visionaries, and other deviants who provoked the concern of a growing central government linked closely to the church. Focusing on Seville, the commercial capital of Habsburg Spain, the author uses rich archival sources to document the economic and spiritual activity of women, and efforts made by civil and church authorities to control this activity, during a period of local economic change and religious turmoil. In analyzing such sources as art and literature from the period, women's writings, Inquisition records, and laws and regulations, the author finds that social definitions of what it meant to be a woman or a man persisted due to their sanctification by religious ideas and their adaptation into political order. She describes the tension between gender ideals and actual conditions in women's lives, and shows how some women subverted the gender order by using a surprisingly wide variety of intellectual and physical strategies.

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1200117376

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