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Kernfamilie

(848 words)

Author(s): Gestrich, Andreas
1. Bedeutung und BegriffsgeschichteK. (engl. nuclear family, franz. famille nucléaire) ist ein Fachbegriff aus der Familiensoziologie und der Histor. Demographie. Er bezeichnet zum einen die aus Eltern und Kindern bestehende familiale Einheit (Familie) innerhalb eines größeren genealogischen Zusammenhangs, zum anderen als Kurzform für »kernfamilialer Haushalt« (engl. nuclear family household) eine ausschließlich aus Eltern und Kindern bestehende Haushalts-Gemeinschaft. In der Forschung wurde der Begriff der K. seit den 1970er Jahren bewusst gegen den…
Date: 2019-11-19

Foundling hospital

(983 words)

Author(s): Gestrich, Andreas
A foundling hospital (Latin  hospitium expositorum, German Findelhaus, French  hôpital des enfants trouvés) is an institution that takes in abandoned children (so-called foundlings). In ancient Greek and Roman society, the exposure of sickly, excess, or unwanted newborns was the father’s decision; in early Christianity, it was condemned by the church, and beginning the late 4th century it was also prohibited by imperial law. When an infant was abandoned in a church, however, the crime was not punished. Care for such infants fell within the range of functions of monasteries [6]. B…
Date: 2019-10-14

Marriage brokering

(747 words)

Author(s): Gestrich, Andreas
Marriage brokering could be accomplished through private contacts or operated as a professional business. Neither Church nor State in Europe ever raised any objections to private marriage brokering through parents or relatives, but professional brokering was continually subject to a degree of criticism on theological, legal, and moral grounds. The boundaries between private and professional marriage brokering are sometimes difficult to discern, however, since in many regions it was customary to compensate even private arrangements when they resulted in a marriage.Private m…
Date: 2019-10-14

Family life cycle

(733 words)

Author(s): Gestrich, Andreas
To historians of the family, the term “family life cycle” refers to the fact that families pass through different phases, entailing specific respective tasks, forms, and functions in family coexistence, in connection with the life cycles of family members. In the contemporary European family, a general distinction is made between a phase in which a couple has children and brings them up, and a later phase determined by cohabitation with the adolescent children, followed by an “empty nest” phase,…
Date: 2019-10-14

Kiltgang

(757 words)

Author(s): Gestrich, Andreas
1. Definition and distribution Kiltgang is a term, particularly prevalent in the Alemannic dialect region, for a nocturnal courting custom among young men (Marital choice). The word kilt, already attested in OHG, originally denoted the late evening, later coming to refer to staying u…
Date: 2019-10-14

Marriage, civil

(805 words)

Author(s): Gestrich, Andreas
1. FoundationsCivil marriage refers to a form of marriage that was not based on a religious definition of marriage and was not enacted via religious ceremony. Whereas the Catholic Church saw marriage as a sacrament and the Protestant denominations saw it as symbolizing the ties between Christ and the Church (see Occasional services), civil marriage was based on the idea that marriage represented a private-law contract between two parties. It was contracted before representatives of bourgeois soci…
Date: 2019-10-14

Love letter

(891 words)

Author(s): Gestrich, Andreas
The text genre of the love letter (Latin 
Date: 2019-10-14

Frérèche

(633 words)

Author(s): Gestrich, Andreas
The frérèche (a household with several married brothers; French  frères) is one of the forms of so-called complex or multiple households, which are composed of several nuclear family units. In Western Europe, the usual form of a multiple household was the life-estate family, in which the parents lived with a married child and his or her family Other forms of multiple household were found in Western Europe, especially in many regions of  Southern France …
Date: 2019-10-14

Mother

(822 words)

Author(s): Gestrich, Andreas
1. ConceptMother is the English version of a universal Indo-European kinship term for the female parent of a child (Childhood). The legal and social status of motherhood (see below) is generally founded on the birth of the child (Childbirth), but may also depend on the legal act of adoption or related social practices (fostering, stepmotherhood; see Legitimization of children). The concept of motherhood in early modern period European societies was associated with powerful emotion connotations, particular…
Date: 2020-04-06

Nursery

(888 words)

Author(s): Gestrich, Andreas
1. Terminological history and definitionThe word “nursery,” attested from the 14th century and deriv…
Date: 2020-04-06

Ledige

(785 words)

Author(s): Gestrich, Andreas
In early modern German,  Ledige (“single, unmarried”) was a specialized collective term for the unmarried youth of a location, especially in rural communities (still common in the 20th century in southern German villages) [5. 76]. In everyday use, it referred primarily to the totality of unmarried male young people (alongside other regional terms like  Buben [1. 459], Burschen [2. 548], Knaben[…
Date: 2019-10-14

Clan

(689 words)

Author(s): Gestrich, Andreas
The word clan comes from Scottish Gaelic ( clann), which in turn goes back to Old Irish ( cland), ultimately borrowed from Latin ( planta). Clan was a term for progeny or family. Since the Late Middle Ages, the term in English and Gaelic alike has been used almost exclusively to refer to Scottish extended families. There is little evidence of its use in early modern Ireland [1].Modern ethnological and anthropological literature applies the term not only to the Scottish family groups, but also to other societies, such as the North American  tlingit[5] and African, Chinese, and Japanese kinship groups. In specialist anthropological terminology, clan means a group of descendants sharing a common ancestry that, while leading back to an “apical ancestor” at the apex of the genealogy, differs from the ancestry of a kinship group known as a “lineage” in that it cannot be precisely traced [15]. Non-human ancestors of a clan are known as totems. Some of the early modern Scottish clans claimed descent from mythological Celtic ancestors (e.g. Clan Campbell), others to early medieval Irish or Scottish kings (e.g. Clan McGregor). Still others claimed Viking apical ancestors.…
Date: 2019-10-14

Grandparents

(755 words)

Author(s): Gestrich, Andreas
The term grandparents (French  grand-parents, Ger.  Großeltern) as a compound noun is attested in German since the 16th century [1. 532]. It was probably created by analogy to the terms  grandfather and  grandmother, already found in 12th-century texts. Initially, though,  grandparents was used as a general term for ancestors, like Old High German  ano and  ana (cf. Ger.  AhnAhnin). Not until the 18th century was the range of meanings restricted to the parents of one’s parents. Unlike many older Germanic kinship terms (e.g.  OheimOnkel, uncle), the term does not distinguish between paternal and maternal kinship  [8. 180 f.].It has been suggested that the evolution of the term  grandparents took place in the context of demographic changes: the combination of late marriage (Marriage, contraction of), nuclear family households, and neolocality (establishment of a separate household by a couple) characteristic of the European marriage pattern in the early modern period made long-term, intensive ties between grandparents and grandchildren unlikely [3]. These family and household structures, the theory holds, led generally to a low level of solidarity between the generations, a situation in which the elderly and sick could not count on much support from the nuclear f…
Date: 2019-10-14

Household

(2,289 words)

Author(s): Gestrich, Andreas
1. History of the termThe term  household (German haushalt, haushaltung, French  ménage) first became current in the late-14th century as a compound of the two nouns “house, hold” [4]. Primarily, this refers to the activity of “managing the…
Date: 2019-10-14

Godparenthood

(949 words)

Author(s): Gestrich, Andreas
1. Definition In the early modern period, godparenthood (French  parrainage, Ger.  Patenschaft, Ital.  padrinaggio, Span.  compadrazgo) was understood to be associated with baptism and in the Catholic Church with confirmation as well…
Date: 2019-10-14

Matrimony

(1,760 words)

Author(s): Gestrich, Andreas
1. German HeiratThe German word Heirat (“marriage”) is in part used synonymously with  Eheschließung (“nuptials”; Marriage, contraction of) and Hochzeit (“wedding”). Under Heirat many earlier encyclopedias merely provide references to these parallel terms [2]. At the same time, though,
Date: 2019-10-14

Kinship, terminology of

(812 words)

Author(s): Gestrich, Andreas
1. Basics and linguistic typologyTerminology is an important source for reconstructing the changes in structure and significance of historical kinship relationships. Anthropology and ethnology (see Ethnography) early on drew on kinship termin…
Date: 2019-10-14

Nuclear family

(866 words)

Author(s): Gestrich, Andreas
1. Significance and terminologyThe phrase nuclear family (French  famille nucléaire, German  Kernfamille) is a technical term in family sociology and historical demography. It denotes both afamily unit consisting of parents and children within a larger genealogical context and, by extension, a “nuclear family household,” a household collective consisting solely of parents and children. Since the 1970s, German-speaking scholars have deliberately used the term  Kernfamilie (“nuclear family”) instead of the earlier standard term  Kleinfamilie (“small family”).Th…
Date: 2020-04-06

Ganzes Haus

(890 words)

Author(s): Gestrich, Andreas
1. Term and concept As a scholarly term, the phrase  Ganzes Haus (literally “whole house/household”) goes back to the cultural scientist and conservative social critic W.H. Riehl (1823–1897) [10. 164]. Riehl interpreted the two-generation nuclear family as a symptom of the decline of modern civilization and distinguished it from the earlier term  Haus (Eng. household, French  maisonnée, Ital . casa), where not only several generations of blood relatives but also farmhands (Servants in husbandry) and other lodgers lived and worked together under a …
Date: 2019-10-14

Marriage, consanguineous

(884 words)

Author(s): Gestrich, Andreas
1. Legal frameworkThe canon law of the Catholic Church severely restricted the contraction of marriage (Marriage, contraction of) between relatives (Kinship).  Marriage was originally prohibited up to the seventh degree of kinship, but this limitation was reduced to the fourth degree at the Fourth Lateran Council in 1215 (see Incest 2.), albeit with a stricter calculation of degrees. In principle this regulation of Catholic canon law is still in force.The canon law prohibiting marriage within certain degrees of kinship included in-laws. Marriage to the relative…
Date: 2019-10-14
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