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Late Medieval Castles is a companion to Anglo-Norman Castles (2003), a volume that brought together a series of historiographically significant articles on castles and castle-building in the period from the Norman Conquest to the early thirteenth century. The format and themes of the present collection are broadly comparable with the earlier book, but with the focus on those castles dating to the period c.1250–1500.
In the course of bringing Anglo-Norman Castles to publication the somewhat arbitrary cut-off date of c.1225 seemed unsatisfactory for a number of reasons. On a practical level, there were highly relevant articles that could not be included because the subject matter fell outside the chronological range of the volume. A more scholarly concern was the fact that a number of issues pertinent to castle-building in the eleventh and twelfth centuries could not be satisfactorily addressed without reference to subsequent developments in the thirteenth and fourteenth. Allied to this, a focus on Anglo-Norman building (no matter how justifiable in historical terms) does perhaps contribute, albeit unwittingly, to the erroneous idea that the eleventh and twelfth centuries are the most important centuries for castle-building, a time when the ‘true’ castle is to be found, and that the period that follows, particularly after 1300, is something of an anti-climax. The present volume should therefore be seen as a continuation of the broad themes discussed in the introduction to Anglo-Norman Castles, with the aim of pursuing them in a late medieval context.
In the years since 2003 there have been a number of important publications in the field of castle studies, and castles continue to be a source of controversy and to provoke debate. Despite the fact that the availability of some secondary material has been made easier through electronic access, I have been consistently reminded by academic colleagues that a compilation such as this is worthwhile, both for the student reader and those seeking a path into the specialist secondary literature. This author at least also believes that there is value in bringing together in one place a series of important contributions that have defined the subject and which also illustrate a diversity of approaches.
The castles of the late medieval period represent some of the finest medieval monuments in Britain, with an almost infinite capacity to fascinate and draw controversy. They are also a source of considerable academic debate. The contents of this volume represent key works in castle scholarship. Topics discussed include castle warfare, fortress customs, architectural design and symbolism, spatial planning and the depiction of castles in medieval romance. The contributions also serve to highlight the diversity of approaches to the medieval castle, ranging from the study of documentary and literary sources, analysis of fragmentary architectural remains and the recording of field archaeology. The result is a survey that offers an in-depth analysis of castle building from the thirteenth to the fifteenth centuries, and places castles within their broader social, architectural and political contexts.
Robert Liddiard is Professor of History, University of East Anglia.
Contributors: Nicola Coldstream, Charles Coulson, Philip Dixon, Graham Fairclough, P.A. Faulkner, John Goodall, Beryl Lott, Charles McKean, T.E. McNeill, Richard K. Morris, Michael Prestwich, Christopher Taylor, Muriel A. Whitaker.
Even when the social order appears intractable, social change is constantly unfolding all around us, finding expression in the accumulation of small acts of resistance as much as in dramatic moments of revolution. Psychologists should take interest in the dynamics of social change, whether mundane or dramatic, for at least two reasons. First, the explanation of when and why change occurs – or fails to occur –requires analysis of ordinary people's thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. To understand fully the conditions under which people act in ways that support or challenge the status quo, we simply cannot afford to overlook the role of psychological factors. Second and related, processes of social change invite us to (re)appraise the moral and political implications of psychological knowledge. How do we reduce discrimination against others? When do we recognize and challenge social inequality and when do we accept or even endorse it? How can we create more inclusive forms of identity and community? Such questions elide the traditional division between scholarship and advocacy. They require us to demonstrate how psychological knowledge helps create a more just and tolerant society. Perhaps less comfortably, they require us to recognize how our discipline may be complicit in maintaining social inequalities.
In this chapter, we discuss two psychological models of social change, namely prejudice reduction and collective action. Both models focus on the problem of improving relations between groups to reduce social inequality and discrimination. However, they propose different psychological pathways to the achievement of this goal and prioritize different core questions. As we shall see, the prejudice reduction model primarily addresses the question “How can we get individuals to like one another more?” whereas the collective action model primarily addresses the question “How can we get individuals to mobilize together to challenge inequality?”
The first section of the chapter elaborates the fundamental principles and underlying assumptions of these models. The second section explores the relationship between the two models of change, focusing on the allegation that prejudice reduction exerts counterproductive effects on collective action. The chapter's conclusion advocates a contextualist perspective on social change. We hold that any evaluation of the efficacy of psychological models of change must remain sensitive to the “stubborn particulars” (Cherry, 1995) of local conditions and the affordances and obstacles embedded there.