Parenting Unruly Teenagers: Two Seventeenth-century Case Studies

Colloquium with Dr. Daphna Oren-Magidor
Activity Date: 
Monday, Mar 19, 2018

The seventeenth century was a period of significant social and cultural upheaval in England. Within this turmoil, parents struggled to bring up their children to fit specific models according to their religious beliefs, ideologies, and gendered identity. The paper explored two cases in which parents had to deal with young adults who would not fit the expected model. One case was a Puritan mother attempting to raise her son to be a Godly man in a period in which extreme piety was on the wane. The other involved a widower raising a daughter who refused to do any of her proper duties as a gentlewoman, up to and including getting married. Together, both cases highlight the ways that parents could convince, cajole and threaten their children into compliance, but also the limited success of such methodologies.