The Development of the Family and Marriage in Europe
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Development of the Family and Marriage in Europe by Jack Goody
Book DescriptionAround 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.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780521289252
(216mm x 138mm x 18mm)
Imprint: Cambridge University Press
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publish Date: 7-Jul-1983
Country of Publication: United Kingdom
Books By Author Jack Goody
Death and the Ancestors, Paperback (February 2015)
Deliberately considering relevant theories put forward by earlier writers and examining them in the light of the research for this particular book, the author spent over 100 days attending funeral ceremonies and he attended 25 burial services. First published in 1962.
Comparative Studies in Kinship, Paperback (September 2013)
Against the background of the problems involved in the comparative study of human society, the essays in this volume show the comparative ideal in practice, which combines elements from both sociology & anthropology.
Metals, Culture and Capitalism, Paperback (November 2012)
A landmark exploration of the role of metals across Europe and Asia from the Bronze Age to the Industrial Revolution.
Theft of History, Paperback (March 2012)» View all books by Jack Goody
Goody raises questions about theorists, historians and methodology and proposes a new comparative approach to cross-cultural analysis.
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