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Fornicating foreigners : sodomy, migration and urban society in the Southern Low Countries (1400-1700)

Jonas Roelens (UGent)
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Abstract
During the early modern period, it was commonplace to represent sodomy as a phenomenon that particularly prospered abroad and could infect the native society through contact with foreigners. Immigrants therefore proved vulnerable for local distrust and defamations, which is illustrated by the high numbers of accused foreign sodomites in early modern court records in Southern Europe. A systematic analysis of the bailiff accounts of Bruges, Ghent, Ypres, Antwerp, Louvain, Malines and Brussels shows that this was also the case in the Southern Netherlands. In general, one out of four convicted sodomites was not born in the city in which he was convicted. Although these numbers should not be neglected, they do seem to provide a realistic picture of the social composition of urban society in the Southern Netherlands, bearing in mind that the mentioned cities proved attractive to migrants throughout the early modern period. This article suggests that foreigners were more vulnerable for sodomy accusations, not because of their origin in the strictest sense, but because of their fragile social position that complicated a successful integration in urban society.
Keywords
sodomy, migration, mechanisms of exclusion, gender

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MLA
Roelens, Jonas. “Fornicating Foreigners : Sodomy, Migration and Urban Society in the Southern Low Countries (1400-1700).” DUTCH CROSSING-JOURNAL OF LOW COUNTRIES STUDIES 41.3 (2017): 229–246. Print.
APA
Roelens, Jonas. (2017). Fornicating foreigners : sodomy, migration and urban society in the Southern Low Countries (1400-1700). DUTCH CROSSING-JOURNAL OF LOW COUNTRIES STUDIES, 41(3), 229–246.
Chicago author-date
Roelens, Jonas. 2017. “Fornicating Foreigners : Sodomy, Migration and Urban Society in the Southern Low Countries (1400-1700).” Dutch Crossing-journal of Low Countries Studies 41 (3): 229–246.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Roelens, Jonas. 2017. “Fornicating Foreigners : Sodomy, Migration and Urban Society in the Southern Low Countries (1400-1700).” Dutch Crossing-journal of Low Countries Studies 41 (3): 229–246.
Vancouver
1.
Roelens J. Fornicating foreigners : sodomy, migration and urban society in the Southern Low Countries (1400-1700). DUTCH CROSSING-JOURNAL OF LOW COUNTRIES STUDIES. 2017;41(3):229–46.
IEEE
[1]
J. Roelens, “Fornicating foreigners : sodomy, migration and urban society in the Southern Low Countries (1400-1700),” DUTCH CROSSING-JOURNAL OF LOW COUNTRIES STUDIES, vol. 41, no. 3, pp. 229–246, 2017.
@article{7061004,
  abstract     = {During the early modern period, it was commonplace to represent sodomy as a phenomenon that particularly prospered abroad and could infect the native society through contact with foreigners. Immigrants therefore proved vulnerable for local distrust and defamations, which is illustrated by the high numbers of accused foreign sodomites in early modern court records in Southern Europe. A systematic analysis of the bailiff accounts of Bruges, Ghent, Ypres, Antwerp, Louvain, Malines and Brussels shows that this was also the case in the Southern Netherlands. In general, one out of four convicted sodomites was not born in the city in which he was convicted. Although these numbers should not be neglected, they do seem to provide a realistic picture of the social composition of urban society in the Southern Netherlands, bearing in mind that the mentioned cities proved attractive to migrants throughout the early modern period. This article suggests that foreigners were more vulnerable for sodomy accusations, not because of their origin in the strictest sense, but because of their fragile social position that complicated a successful integration in urban society.},
  author       = {Roelens, Jonas},
  issn         = {0309-6564},
  journal      = {DUTCH CROSSING-JOURNAL OF LOW COUNTRIES STUDIES},
  keywords     = {sodomy,migration,mechanisms of exclusion,gender},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {3},
  pages        = {229--246},
  title        = {Fornicating foreigners : sodomy, migration and urban society in the Southern Low Countries (1400-1700)},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03096564.2016.1142747},
  volume       = {41},
  year         = {2017},
}

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