Around 300 A.D. European patterns of marriage and kinship were turned on their head. What had previously been the norm - marriage to close kin - became the new taboo. The same applied to adoption, the obligation of a man to marry his brother's widow and a number of other central practices. With these changes Christian Europe broke radically from its own past and established practices which diverged markedly from those of the Middle East, North Africa and Asia. In this highly original and far-reaching work Jack Goody argues that from the fourth century there developed in the northern Mediterranean a distinctive but not undifferentiated kinship system, whose growth can be attributed to the role of the Church in acquiring property formerly held by domestic groups. He suggests that the early Church, faced with the need to provide for people who had left their kin to devote themselves to the life of the Church, regulated the rules of marriage so that wealth could be channelled away from the family and into the Church. Thus the Church became an 'interitor', acquiring vast tracts of property through the alienation of familial rights. At the same time, the structure of domestic life was changed dramatically, the Church placing more emphasis on individual wishes, on conjugality, and on spiritual rather than natural kinship. Tracing the consequences of this change through to the present day, Jack Goody challenges some fundamental assumptions about the making of western society, and provides an alternative focus for future study of the European family, kinship structures and marriage patterns. The questions he raises will provoke much interest and discussion amongst anthropologists, sociologists and historians.
Systems of Marriage and the Family in the Pre-Industrial Societies of Eurasia
Author: Jack Goody
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Continuing the comparative survey of pre-industrial family formation undertaken in The Development of Family and Marriage in Europe (1983), Professor Goody looks in depth at kinship practice in Asia. His findings cause him to question many traditional assumptions about the "primitive" East, and he suggests that, in contrast to pre-colonial Africa, kinship practice in Asia has much in common with that prevailing in parts of pre-industrial Europe. Goody examines the transmission of productive and other property in relation both to the prevailing political economy and to family and ideological structures, and explores the distribution of mechanisms and strategies of management across cultures. The book concludes that notions of western "uniqueness" are often misplaced, and that much previous work on Asian kinship has been unwittingly distorted by the application of concepts and approaches derived from other, inappropriate, social formations.
Volume 2 of Family Life and Family Policies in Europe is a comparative study of family change in Europe and its dependency on social policy regimes. The authors explore family discourse, family law, single parents, gender relations, the 'new fathers', divorce, and abortion within theframework of national policies vis-a-vis the family. Conventional wisdom assumes that policy decisions affecting the life situation of a population shape different opportunities for private living, particularly in relation to children and the family. But, the authors argue, it would be toosimplistic to assume a direct causal link between welfare policies for the family and developments in the family sector. Family change is in fact mediated by institutional factors as well as by cultural traditions and political intervention. The chapters in this volume deal with the substantial andmethodological problems of ascertaining the impact of different national policy regimes on family change.This volume, in conjunction with Volume 1 (which presents a standardized framework for analysing family development and policies across ten European countries), makes a significant contribution to research in the field of comparative interdisciplinary family science. Together they aim at a betterunderstanding of issues relevant to the European agenda for social policies towards the family.
What does 'the law' look like? While numerous attempts have been made to examine law and legal action in terms of its language, little has yet been written that considers how visual images of the law influence its interpretation and execution in ways not discernible from written texts. This groundbreaking collection focuses on images in law, featuring contributions that show and discuss the perception of the legal universe on a theoretical basis or when dealing with visual semiotics (dress, ceremony, technology, etc.). It also examines 'language in action', analyzing jury instructions, police directives, and how imagery is used in conjunction with contentious social and political issues within a country, such as the image of family in Ireland or the image of racism in France.
For a full list of entries and contributors, sample entries, and more, visit the Routledge International Encyclopedia of Women website. Featuring comprehensive global coverage of women's issues and concerns, from violence and sexuality to feminist theory, the Routledge International Encyclopedia of Women brings the field into the new millennium. In over 900 signed A-Z entries from US and Europe, Asia, the Americas, Oceania, and the Middle East, the women who pioneered the field from its inception collaborate with the new scholars who are shaping the future of women's studies to create the new standard work for anyone who needs information on women-related subjects.
The collection reveals how scholars of the 1970s through the 1990s argued the importance of previously unconsidered questions about the shape of medieval familial experience, and how their mutual information and criticism has refined and added to this investigation in the intervening period.