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What is new about family history?
- 1. Focus to micro level everyday events and lives.
- 2. Expansion of scoe to include differences in social class, race, gender, and region. (Most info is still with midde class and other info is more difficult to obtain)
- 3. New methods of research
- (Family reconstituion and aggregate date analysis)
Broad differences in US population have made generalizations about "the family" impossible
Diversity among families
- 1. Native American families
- 2. Class differences among European immigrants
- 3. European nationalities
- 4. African American families
- Historical changes in the family have not taken place uniformly throughout society
- - Effects of race, class, gender, and age
Families are active agents rather than passive victims of change
Family Life in Colonia America
- 1. Macro structural conditions and family life
- 2. Family structure and household composition
- 3. Wives and Husbands
- 4. Children
Macro structural conditions and family life
- 1. Godly Family
- 2. Characterized by family-based economy
- - All members worked at productive tasks differentiated by age and sex.
- - No sharp distinctions made btwn family and society
- - Family performed many functions over and above economic
- 3. Family matters were not considered private. Community intervention was common.
Family Structure and Household Composition
- Typically nuclear in structure although they tended to be larger in size than contemporary families
- -primary cause of increase in size was presence of servants, boarders, and lodgers.
Wives and Husbands
- 1. Marriages were arranged based on the social and economic purpose of kin groups
- 2. Romantic love existed but mariage was more of an economic contract
- 3. Shortage of women enchanced the status of women
- 1. Families reared large numbers of children but number in household tended to be regulated due to extended period of childbearing
- 2. Religious training was intensive and discipline severe
- 3. Childhood not recognized as a separate stage of development
- 4. were viewed in economic terms
The Emergence of Modern Family Life
- 1. Marco structural conditions and family life: industrialization moved work from home to factories.
- 2. Agency, Adaption, and Change
- 3. Household Size and Composition: smaller households by removing work from home.
- 4. Wives and Husbands
- 5. Children
- 6. Challenging a uniform definition of the family
Macro Structural Conditions and Family Life
- 1. Family-wage economy: workers earn outside the home and support family on wages.
- 2. Families take on specialized functions of procreation, consumption, and childrearing.
- 3. Privatization meant that individuals were less accountable to their communities.
Agency, Adaption, and Change
- 1. Individuals were not passive victims of change and family relationships shaped emerging social order.
- 2. Responses to dilemma of declining land
- -increased migration
- -movement toward trades
- - weakened parental control over children
Wives and Husbands (Modern)
- 1. Romantic love and mutual affection replaced economic considerations.
- 2. Production transferred outside the family
- 3. Activities split into the male work and female world of the family
- 1. Came to viewed as different than adults
- 2. Seen as innocent and with special needs
Challenging a Uniform Definition of the Family
- 1. Modern family form emerged as a race-specific and class-specific arrangement.
- 2. The ideals and myths emerge based on assumption of middle and upper class as the standards