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Social change and family change in a Central European urban context: Rostock 1819-1867

Listed author(s):
  • Mikołaj Szołtysek

    (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany)

  • Siegfried Gruber

    (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany)

  • Rembrandt D. Scholz

    (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany)

  • Barbara Zuber Goldstein

    (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany)

Registered author(s):

    This study is informed by competing perspectives on family behaviour in periods of turbulent social change, and intends to provide some fresh insights into the effect of macro-level changes on micro-level processes involving the family. In this pilot study, we take our first step towards analysing the impact of developing urban-industrial life on the family system in the northern German city of Rostock. A variety of quantitative approaches are employed to capture long-term changes in household structure and composition, household formation rules and patterns of leaving home in this historic Hanseatic community in two census years, 1819 and 1867. Overall, we can observe rather stable patterns for both the 1819 and 1867 censuses, with only small shifts away from more “traditional” towards more “modern” patterns of the family. Interestingly, the persistence of the family pattern in Rostock rested primarily on the continuity of nuclear family-centred patterns of co-residence. We were neither able to find evidence of a significant deterioration in the traditional pattern of the extended-family household, nor could we prove that a progressive nuclearisation of the family in Rostock took place between 1819 and 1867.

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    Paper provided by Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany in its series MPIDR Working Papers with number WP-2009-039.

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    Length: 61 pages
    Date of creation: Dec 2009
    Handle: RePEc:dem:wpaper:wp-2009-039
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    1. Steven Ruggles, 2009. "Reconsidering the Northwest European Family System: Living Arrangements of the Aged in Comparative Historical Perspective," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 35(2), pages 249-273.
    2. Das Gupta, Monica, 1999. "Lifeboat ethics versus corporate ethics - social and demographic implications of stem and joint families," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2127, The World Bank.
    3. repec:cai:poeine:pope_704_0729 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Francesco C. Billari & Dimiter Philipov & Pau Baizán Munoz, 2001. "Leaving home in Europe: the experience of cohorts born around 1960," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2001-014, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
    5. Das Gupta, Monica, 1999. "Lifeboat versus corporate ethic: social and demographic implications of stem and joint families," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 49(2), pages 173-184, July.
    6. Mendels, Franklin F., 1972. "Proto-industrialization: The First Phase of the Industrialization Process," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 32(01), pages 241-261, March.
    7. De Vos, Susan & Lee, Yean-Ju, 1993. "Change in Extended Family Living among Elderly People in South Korea, 1970-80," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 41(2), pages 377-393, January.
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