Date of Award

1-1-2014

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Conflict Analysis & Resolution

Department

Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences

First Advisor

Toran J. Hansen

Second Advisor

Marcia Sweedler

Third Advisor

Gary Gershman

Fourth Advisor

Dustin D. Berna

Abstract

This study aims to analyze the application of twentieth century sociologist George Mead's role theory to Henry VIII and Mary I, of Britain's Tudor Dynasty, regarding their treatment of their families during the early to mid-sixteenth century. Contemporary role theory can offer a useful lens to study sixteenth century royal family functionality through an analysis of Henry VIII and Mary I's lives as monarchs of England. Role theory can illuminate the role conflict that led to a separation between Henry and Mary as people and as sovereigns. Their roles, derived from traditional authority, set them apart as people and led them to behave in a way that would not have been true to their characters if they were not monarchs. The roles will therefore be given particular attention pertaining to family issues within a sixteenth century social, religious and political context. The findings of this study include an explanation of conflict with identity as well as a conflict with roles using transformation as the catalyst in the case of both of these monarchs. This study includes a qualitative content analysis, while also employing methods from the humanities to create a unique blend of methodology from both the social sciences and the field of history. This blend of methodology aids in creating a model to ensure further understanding of conflict analysis from a historical perspective.