The genealogy of Eastern European difference: an insider’s view
AbstractThe view of Eastern Europe as a locus of complex family organisation and familistic societal values has reached the status of general dogma in Western social sciences and demography. By offering an overview of almost entirely unknown scholarly achievements of Eastern Europeanists, this essay represents an attempt to persuade scholars to accept less stereotypical images of families from outside ‘Western Europe’. Well into the late 1990s, Eastern European literature on family forms remained screened off from the main current of European thought. Thus, not surprisingly, tracing the lineage of work from east of the ostensible Hajnal Line reveals the sharp differences between the findings of Eastern European researchers and the dominant assumptions of Western science. These marginalised discourses need to be integrated into mainstream research and discussion, so that scholars can better understand marriage, family, household and community patterns in Europe and elsewhere. The diversity of family forms and the rhythms of their development in historical Eastern Europe revealed in this literature also provide us with an excellent opportunity to free ourselves from a simplistic view of the continent’s familial history, and particularly from the one implied by the notion of a ‘dividing line’.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany in its series MPIDR Working Papers with number WP-2011-014.
Length: 50 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2011
Date of revision:
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Web page: http://www.demogr.mpg.de/
family forms; historical demography; household composition; marriage;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics
- Z0 - Other Special Topics - - General
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2011-08-29 (All new papers)
- NEP-DEM-2011-08-29 (Demographic Economics)
- NEP-HIS-2011-08-29 (Business, Economic & Financial History)
- NEP-TRA-2011-08-29 (Transition Economics)
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