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Escrocs, seigneurs et « pieux chanteurs ». Mendicité et masculinité au cours du long XVIIIe siècle

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  • Tim Hitchcock
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    [eng] This article explores the rhetorical and personal strategies deployed by male beggars in eighteenth-century Britain, and the response of elite and middling sort men to the same beggars. It suggests that for poor male beggars there were few choices. They could present themselves as "tricksters", or wounded heroes, as patriarchs broken by the obligations of family, or as religious mendicants. Each role helped support a masculine self-identity that allowed poor men to both beg and retain some self respect. For middling sort and elite men, the distance between themselves and a beggarly "other" was important to the creation of their own masculinity. The authority of the almsgiver was an important component of a secure elite masculine identity. By charting the different roles of begging and almsgiving in the construction of eighteenth-century masculinities this article attempts to re-insert class into our understanding of eighteenth-century gender. [fre] Cet article étudie les stratégies personnelles et rhétoriques déployées par les mendiants mâles dans la Grande-Bretagne du XVIIIe siècle et les réponses qui leur étaient faites par les membres des élites et des middling sorts. Il suggère que les pauvres mendiants n'avaient guère de choix. Ils pouvaient se représenter eux-mêmes comme des « tricheurs », comme des héros blessés, comme des patriarches surchargés par les obligations familiales ou encore comme des vagabonds de Dieu. Chacun de ces rôles les aidait à conserver une identité masculine qui leur permettait à la fois de mendier et de garder leur dignité. Pour un membre des élites ou des middling sorts, la distance entre lui et l'« Autre » mendiant était importante pour la définition de sa propre masculinité. L'autorité conférée par le don d'une aumône était une dimension essentielle dans la construction d'une identité masculine sécurisante. En définissant les différents rôles dans les actes de mendier et de donner dans la formation des masculinités du XVIIIe siècle, cet article essaie de réinsérer la notion de classe dans notre compréhension des genres au XVIIIe siècle.

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    Article provided by Programme National Persée in its journal Histoire, économie et société.

    Volume (Year): 24 (2005)
    Issue (Month): 1 ()
    Pages: 109-122

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    Handle: RePEc:prs:hiseco:hes_0752-5702_2005_num_24_1_2538
    Note: DOI:10.3406/hes.2005.2538
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