© 1995

English Society in the Later Middle Ages

Class, Status and Gender

  • Authors

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xii
  2. Introduction: social structure as social closure

  3. Class Structure as Social Closure

  4. Order, Gender and Status-Group as Social Closure

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 179-179
    2. S. H. Rigby
      Pages 181-205
    3. S. H. Rigby
      Pages 206-242
    4. S. H. Rigby
      Pages 243-283
    5. S. H. Rigby
      Pages 284-302
    6. S. H. Rigby
      Pages 303-323
    7. S. H. Rigby
      Pages 324-327
  5. Back Matter
    Pages 328-408

About this book


What was the social structure of England in the period 1200 to 1500? What were the basic forms of social inequality? To what extent did such divisions generate social conflict? How significantly did English society change during this period and what were the causes of social change? Is it useful to see medieval social structure in terms of the theories and concepts produced within the medieval period itself? What does modern social theory have to offer the historian seeking to understand English society in the later middle ages? These are the questions which this book seeks to answer. Beginning with an analysis of class structure of medieval England, Part One of this book asks to what extent class conflict was inherent within class relations and discusses the contrasting successes and outcomes of such conflict in town and country. Part Two of the book examines to what extent such class divisions interacted with other forms of social inequality, such as those between orders (nobility and clergy), between men and women, and those arising from membership of a status-group (the Jews). Dr Rigby's discussion of medieval English society is located within the context of recent historical and sociological debates about the nature of social stratification and, using the work of social theorists such as Parkin and Runciman, offers a synthesis of the Marxist and Weberian approaches to social structure. The book should be extremely useful to those undergraduates beginning their studies of medieval England whilst, in offering a new interpretative framework within which to examine social structure, also interesting those historians who are more familiar with this period.


England ideology Middle Ages social change social inequality social theory society

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title English Society in the Later Middle Ages
  • Book Subtitle Class, Status and Gender
  • Authors S.H. Rigby
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information S. H. Rigby 1995
  • Publisher Name Palgrave, London
  • eBook Packages Palgrave History Collection History (R0)
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-0-333-49239-0
  • Softcover ISBN 978-0-333-49240-6
  • eBook ISBN 978-1-349-23969-6
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages XII, 424
  • Number of Illustrations 0 b/w illustrations, 0 illustrations in colour
  • Additional Information Previously published under the imprint Palgrave
  • Topics History of Britain and Ireland
  • Buy this book on publisher's site