The brewing of fermented grain based ale in the England had widespread purposes and served all facets of English society; all economic classes, age groups, religious dominions and sexes partook in the daily consumption of this staple beverage. The brewing of the drink has economic, religious, cultural, and gender based implications present in the secondary sources and writing of academics. We must explore why this beverage played such a significant role in the everyday lives of the people of this region, and how the brewing of such drinks by women was integral to its sustenance.
The ultimate purpose of my research is to study the occupational habits of women specifically in the the role of alewives, and how gender defined their role in within this context. I intend to look deeper into the scholarship on the topic and determine how specifically the jobs of these women changed and empowered them past the restraints of classical gender roles of the time. I may extend this analysis to include regional variance (possibly France and other European countries) within material for research's sake. With the inclusion of analytical material of primary sources, prospective feminist researchers, historians and scholars, I hope to create literature which reinforces the theory that women played a much more involved role through their occupational statuses and responsibilities than what conventional history writing says.
Identification and Review of Literature on topic
The summarizing and review of existing literature on the topic provides insight and outlining of primary sources and technical tax, statistics, and census records collected at the time and spans from the 1300's ...
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...in which the advancement of women's rights in fulfilling the roles of alewives, literature upon the subject ultimately displayed a sense of shame about the roles of the women.
Margaret Schaus, Women and gender in medieval Europe: an encyclopedia (Routledge, New York), 13.
Judith M. Bennett, Ale, beer and brewsters in England: women's work in a changing world, 1300-1600 (Oxford University Press, New York 1996), 7.
Faith Wallis, Reviewed work: Ale, Beer and Brewsters in England: Women's Work in a Changing World, 1300-1600 by Judith M. Bennett (Vol. 42, Masculinities and Working-Class History 1998), 244.
A. Lynn Martin, Alcohol, sex, and gender in late medieval and early modern Europe (Houndmills, Basings 2001), 71.
Marjorie Keniston McIntosh, Working Women in English Society, 1300-1620 (Cambridge University Press 2005), 158-159.
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