June 17, 2021
University of Kent professor develops Social Status Calculator for Shakespeare’s era
A Professor of Early Modern Cultural Studies at the University of Kent has teamed up with researchers from other universities to develop a Social Status Calculator for 16th and 17th century England.
Professor Catherine Richardson – the principal investigator on the collaborative project with researchers from King’s College London and the University of Birmingham – has developed a class calculator to explore the cultural and social world of 16th and 17th century England. This calculator enables individuals to see where they would have sat on the social scale during the period of 1560 – 1660, and it can also be used as a research tool to identify the status of historic figures.
Professor Richardson explains, “We wanted to find a light-hearted way of exploring what life was like for the different status groups in early modern England – a lot of research into archives and museum collections lies behind it, but we hope it’s essentially great fun to use!”
She continues, “It is one of the tools we are using to help us to think about the cultural lives of Shakespeare’s contemporaries in the round, and to investigate the impact of the relationships between wealth, possessions, occupation, skills and lifestyle – to deepen our understanding of how literacy and creative practices might have affected a family’s social mobility.”
The Social Status Calculator forms part of the Middling Culture research project – an Arts and Humanities Research Council-funded project designed to develop the understanding of how reading, writing and material culture fitted into the everyday lives of England’s “middling” – those who neither very affluent nor very poor – during 16th and 17th century England.
Find out more about the Social Status Calculator.
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Content added on 17th June 2021.
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