The Stem Family in Eurasian Perspective. Revisiting House Societies, 17th–20th Centuries
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The genesis of this book stems from the precious work of the EurAsian Project on Population and Family History. The recent development of research on family history outside Europe legitimates this major update centred on the use of Le Play’s “stem-family” model (SF from now on) in a comparative Eurasian perspective. Rediscovering the stem family, however, is not an easy task, as the editors of the book emphasize: “even though the SF has long been a central research topic in family history, its image and its reality remain far from clear-cut”.
In the SF, continuity is ensured by blood-ties with one child, usually the eldest one, being singled out as the household’s heir, under the majorat system. The book’s editors specify two minimal definitions of SF (the residential rule for only one married child and the practice of handing down property through non-egalitarian inheritance) and a corollary (the persistence of the ‘house’ from generation to generation). The contributions in this...