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Title: Land division and identity in later prehistoric Dartmoor, south-west Britain : translocating tenure
Author: Wickstead, H.
Awarding Body: University of London
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2007
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Tenure is an important aspect of relations involving people and material things. Archaeologists often evoke tenure but less often subject this concept to sustained examination. In this thesis I explore the subject of tenure. The root of the word tenure is the French verb 'tem'r' (to hold). It is thus concerned with possession, and is related to the concept of property. Dictionary definitions of tenure outline three main senses in which the word tenure is used: Firstly, tenure refers to the holding or possession of something, especially of property and land Secondly, it also means the duration, term or conditions on possession, and thus encompasses a greater range of relations than can be described by 'property' Thirdly, it is also possible to speak of 'getting tenure'---by which is meant the attainment of a permanent office, linked to achieving a certain personal status within a profession. At first sight this third sense seems very different to the first two. However it points to the history of a concept that is closely bound up with personhood. For example, the word 'property' derives from the Latin 'proprius' and French 'propiete'. The words property and propriety thus overlap indicating the historical connections between property and ideas of moral personhood ('self-possession'). 'Ownership', related to the German 'eigen', also refers to identity through its historical link with 'belonging'---the word was once used to describe blood ties between kin as well as possession of objects (Verdery & Humphrey, 2004a: 5). The concept of tenure is more complicated than it may at first appear, referring to many different sense and forms of possession simultaneously.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available