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Kinship in Neckarhausen, 1700–1870

Kinship in Neckarhausen, 1700–1870


  • Date Published: March 1998
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521586573

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About the Authors
  • This work analyses shifts in the relations of families, households, and individuals in a single German village during the transition to a modern social structure and cultural order. The findings call into question the idea that the more modern society became, the less kin mattered. Rather, the opposite happened. During 'modernization', close kin developed a flexible set of exchanges, passing marriage partners, godparents, political favors, work contacts, and financial guarantees back and forth. Sabean also argues that the new kinship systems were fundamental for class formation, and he repositions women in the center of a political culture of alliance construction. One of a series of important local studies coming out of the Max Planck Institute for History, it is the most thorough-going attempt to work between the disciplines of social and cultural history and anthropology, and it demonstrates the power of microhistory to reconceptualize general historical trends.

    • Microhistory - next stage beyond Carlo Ginzburg and Natalie Davis
    • Challenges traditional views of family history studies
    • Attempts to draw from social and cultural history, structure and practice, grand narrative and local stories, strategy and tactic, social system and language
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    Product details

    • Date Published: March 1998
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521586573
    • length: 658 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 34 mm
    • weight: 0.87kg
    • contains: 131 b/w illus. 159 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. An introduction to kinship
    2. Vetterleswirtschaft: rise and fall of a political discourse
    3. The politics of incest and the ecology of alliance formation
    Cohort I (1700–9):
    4. Introduction to kinship during the early decades of the eighteenth century
    5. Kinship as a factor in marriage strategy
    6. Marriage and kinship practices
    7. Ritual kinship
    8. Naming children
    Cohort II (1740–9):
    9. Restructuring the system of alliance
    10. Village politics at mid-century
    Cohort III (1780–9):
    11. Consanguinity as a principle of alliance
    12. The formation of an alliance system
    13. Ritual kinship and alternative alliance
    14. Naming an patrilineal alliance
    Cohort IV (1820–9):
    15. Kinship at the beginning of the nineteenth century
    16. Kinship and practice at the turn of the century
    Cohort V (1860–9):
    17. Kinship in the mid-nineteenth century village: an introduction
    18. Networking with kin around the mid-nineteenth century
    19. Matrifocal alliance
    20. Consanguinity in European perspective
    21. Neckarhausen in European comparative perspective
    22. Kinship and class formation
    23. Kinship and gender.

  • Author

    David Warren Sabean, University of California, Los Angeles

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