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Individuals, Families, and Communities in Europe, 1200–1800

Individuals, Families, and Communities in Europe, 1200–1800
The Urban Foundations of Western Society


Part of Cambridge Studies in Population, Economy and Society in Past Time

  • Date Published: August 2003
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521645416

£ 32.99

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About the Authors
  • In this interpretation of European family and society, Katherine Lynch examines the family at the centre of the life of 'civil society'. Using a variety of evidence from European towns and cities, she explores how women and men created voluntary associations outside the family - communities, broadly defined - to complement or even substitute for solidarities based on kinship. She shows how demographic, economic, religious, and political features of European urban society encouraged the need for collective organizations for mutual protection, and how men and women acted to fulfil this need. She also emphasises the central place that family issues played in the creation of larger communities, from the 'confessional' communities of the Reformation to the national 'imagined' community of the French Revolution. Based on original research, this is an ambitious integration of the history of the family into the history of public life.

    • Broad range of appeal, covering history, anthropology, demography and political theory
    • Written in a straight-forward, accessible style
    • Several topics central to current historical debates
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Much of this ground will already be familiar to demographic and social historians (though few readers will be familiar with all of it) but it is covered in a distinctively new fashion. What gives the book its originality is the context into which the material is put and the perspective which the author adopts … a valuable and stimulating new perspective on familiar issues … they carefully, but relentlessly, challenge some of the foundational beliefs on which modern demography is built and from which it derives its current identity within academia … Riley and McCarthy do a good job in capturing the main flavours … the book is clearly speaking to demographers, and about demography … This is an important book and, in many ways, overdue. Most of the fields that identify themselves as social sciences have been struggling with the challenges of postmodernism for some time … it presents a lively and persuasive argument for opening up a dialogue that would encourage greater reflection on the epistemological, methodological, and theoretical grounding of contemporary demography … this new book deserves to be read by all those who study population issues.' Elspeth Graham University of St Andrews, Population Studies

    '… timely and engaging … The book is clearly written and highly stimulating.' Robert Woods, Urban Studies

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    Product details

    • Date Published: August 2003
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521645416
    • length: 268 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 15 mm
    • weight: 0.4kg
    • contains: 10 b/w illus. 3 maps 4 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Preface and acknowledgements
    1. Fundamental features of European urban settings
    2. Church, family and bonds of spiritual kinship
    3. Charity, poor relief and the family in religious and civic communities
    4. Individuals, families and communities in urban Europe of the Protestant and Catholic reformations
    5. Constructing an 'Imagined Community': poor relief and the family during the French Revolution

  • Author

    Katherine A. Lynch, Carnegie Mellon University, Pennsylvania
    Katherine Lynch is Professor of History at Carnegie Mellon University, Pennsylvania. Her previous publications include Family, Class, and Ideology in Early Industrial France: Social Policy and the Working-Class Family, 1825–1848 (1988) and Sources and Methods of Historical Demography (1982).

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