Historical Analysis of the Family

  • Sheila McIsaac Cooper

Abstract

The family, like other social groups, is both subject to change over time and also retains characteristics from the past in its present form. It is a sum of its beginning plus the changes that have occurred along the way to the present. As a consequence, part of understanding the family and its social, political, and economic importance depends on understanding the family in history. For many years scholars, historians among them, made assumptions about the historical configuration and dynamic aspects of families on evidence that often was quite slim. The putative rise of the nuclear family, for example, fitted various theories of modernization, urbanization, and industrialization well enough to obscure the haziness about its birth. In the past 3 decades, however, assumptions about the family have been reconsidered as historical analysis of the family became an important component of history and other academic disciplines that study families.

Keywords

Nuclear Family Historical Analysis Family Form Historical Demography Family Diversity 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sheila McIsaac Cooper
    • 1
  1. 1.Indiana UniversityIndianapolisUSA

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