This book, first published in 1987, looks at the culture of the masses and at the political language and actions of the crowd. It examines the enduring traits of a European demotic culture that was largely non-literate, and it then goes on to show how the political outlook of the lower classes arose from the moral attitudes contained in their culture, a culture that was deeply suffused by Christianity. Unlike upper-class culture, popular culture is resistant to change and has to be studied over a long period – in this case the fourteenth through the seventeenth centuries. Because its themes – popular social values, riot and revolt – are pervasive over both time and space, the book’s geographical coverage is extensive, taking in most of western and central Europe.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction: Popular Culture and Popular Protest in Late Medieval and Early Modern Europe 2. Social and Cultural Groupings in Late Medieval and Early Modern Europe 3. Language and Action in Peasant Revolts 4. Preachers, Popular Culture and Social Criticism in Late Medieval Europe 5. Conclusion: Social Control and Popular Culture in Early Modern Europe