Entering into the World: University and Apprenticeships

Henry French and Mark Rothery

in Man's Estate

Published in print March 2012 | ISBN: 9780199576692
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191738852 | DOI:
Entering into the World: University and Apprenticeships

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Chapter Two traces the growth of male autonomy at university and in metropolitan training: a key stage in the development of manliness and Gentry status. Sons often stretched the boundaries of acceptable behaviour during these experiences. While parents feared the consequences of this new found freedom, this chapter argues that manly autonomy was the essential component in the formation of a mature gender identity. University remained both an intellectual and a social proving ground for young men. However, as university reforms proceeded in the first half of the nineteenth century, success in competitive examinations became a public indication of masculine ‘virtue’ among the English elite. The chapter also examines the pit-falls of late adolescence, particularly the enduring (but often hidden) sub-cultures of masculine violence, drunkenness and sexual licence.

Keywords: university; education; apprenticeship; freedom; failure; violence; alcohol; sexual misconduct

Chapter.  26867 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Early Modern History (1500 to 1700)

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