By Michael Anderson
This ebook is a brief yet accomplished survey of the paintings at the heritage of the relations in Western Eu....
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Additional resources for Approaches to the History of the Western Family, 1500–1914
Children, too, are seen (by all four of our principal scholars) as benefiting from a warmer, more sensitive familial environment. It is easiest to explore the detailed implications of these arguments in separate discussions of spouse selection, marriage, sex, and children. E SELECTION The argument for major transformations both in how spouse selection has taken place and in the criteria used for selection has been particularly pursued by Stone, Trumbach and Shorter (though there are important differences between their arguments).
V) ILLEGITIMACY AND CHANGING ATTITUDES TO SEX As I noted in chapter 2, the history of illegitimacy and premarital sex in the West is a history of cycles. From a low point in the seventeenth century the rates generally rose to a high in the mid-nineteenth, fell in the Second World War and rose dramatically thereafter. The explanation of these changes is a topic of m~or controversy among family historians, though all reject the superficially plausible proposition that illegitimacy rose at times when pregnancy-provoked marriages fell, and vice versa, because premarital conceptions and the illegitimacy indicators in fact move together (except, sometimes, over short periods of time).
Idence on attitudes are at best dangerous and at worst highly misleading. However, it is in the context of household composition that critics have drawn most attention to this problem. For Laslett, the long-run 'perdurance' and widespread distribution of a nuclear-household system is one of the key characteristics of the Western familial system. A number of other scholars, by contrast, have suggested that the varia- 34 bility of attitudes which could have (and arguably actually have) occurred within a nuclear-household framework is of infinitely greater significance than the stability of the framework itself.
Approaches to the History of the Western Family, 1500–1914 by Michael Anderson
Categories: Economic History