Separating the men from the goats: Masculinity, civilization and identity formation in the medieval university

Ruth Mazo Karras

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Medieval society was a society of collectivities in which identity came from membership in particular groups. 1 Many of these groups-knights, monks, apprentices, guildspeople-underwent particular initiation ceremonies that marked their selection or separation from the rest of society. 2 In knighthood, for example, the ritual of dubbing admitted one into a military elite. For men of the aristocracy, it also marked a coming of age, the attainment of manhood. The entrance into a university, into the elite intellectual world, also marked the acceptance into a masculine subculture. The ritual process of initiation into that subculture reveals a great deal about medieval ideas of what it meant to be a man-as distinguished from a boy, from a woman and also from a beast.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationConflicted Identities and Multiple Masculinities
Subtitle of host publicationMen in the Medieval West
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Pages189-213
Number of pages25
ISBN (Electronic)9781136528408
ISBN (Print)9781138799028
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2013

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