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Resistance, Collaboration and the Early Modern 'Public Transcript': The River Lea Disputes and Popular Politics in England, 1571–1603

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This article engages critically with recent contributions to the study of early modern social relations and popular politics which have drawn inspiration from the ideas of the anthropologist James C. Scott. It argues that, by adopting aspects of Scott's vocabulary, especially his notion of 'dominant' and 'subordinate' groups, historians have given undue emphasis to the role of social conflict. While arguing strongly in favour of interdisciplinarity, this article suggests that it is time historians move away from Scott's fixed categories. It uses the example of protests against the River Lea navigation in Elizabethan England to explore social relations as a series of unstable and shifting alliances given meaning by situation and personality.


Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2752/147800411X13026260432951

Affiliations: Pembroke College, Cambridge, CB2 1RF, UK;, Email: mjc76@cam.ac.uk

Publication date: September 1, 2011

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