Synopses & Reviews
One of the most important works in social history of recent decades, this landmark study deals with the ordinary experiences of people who lived in a village in Southern Germany. By focusing on the internal relations of the family, David Sabean explores the ways in which the family shaped both property and production in Neckarhausen. Situated on the upper Neckar river, between the Black Forest and the Swabian Alp, Neckarhausen provides a classic example of small peasant agriculture characterized by ever more intensive use of soils as succeeding families worked ever smaller plots of land. In 1700, Neckarhausen had largely recovered from the Thirty Years War and had established the landholding pattern and occupational structure that would characterize it until the late nineteenth century. By 1870, the population had tripled in size and the village had experienced a green revolution and had become enmeshed in regional and international markets. This in-depth study of Neckarhausen is divided into four parts: an introduction to social and economic change, sources and concepts; an analysis of relationships between husbands and wives; a consideration of relationships between generations; and a discussion of kinship and the transfer of property.
"In this excellent study Sabean brings together a wealth of material illuminating in detail the fate of a village and its families during a crucial period in Germany history....this is a superb historical and ethnographic study of a German village, which anthropologists and others will refer to for a long time to come." American Ethnologist"...Sabean has written by far the best historical study of kinship and family relations in the German countryside." American Historical Review"There is a great deal in this book to stimulate the imagination...an excellent book." Canadian Journal of History"...merits close reading by everyone working on the family, women, agricultural change and property not only in continental Europe, but anywhere in the world. It will even make the type of generalizations we so easily make in the context of teaching Western Civ much more questionable, requiring the rewriting of lectures we had thought satisfactorily up-to-date. That extra work may make many of us hope that Sabean takes as long to finish his book on kinship as he did this one, for it will certainly be just as challenging." Merry E. Wiesner, Journal of Social History
This landmark study of family relations in a village in southern Germany is the product of deep reflection on anthropological approaches to historical problems.
Focusing on the internal relations of the family, this study explores the ways in which it influenced property ownership as well as production in Neckarhausen, a Southern German village that tripled its size by 1870.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 481-490) and indexes.
Table of Contents
List of tables; Abbreviations; Abbreviations of sources; Weights, measures, and coinage; On reading kinship diagrams; Glossary; Preface; Introduction; 1. Productive forces and social differentiation; 2. Magistrates and records; 3. The ideology of the house; 4. Patterns of marital conflict; 5. The changing context of production; 6. Marital relations in the context of production; 7. Marital estate; 8. State and estate; 9. Marital fund; 10. Generational transition; 11. Reciprocities of labor and property; 12. Reciprocities in parent - child relations; 13. Authority, solidarity, and abuse, 14. Family charges on the transfer of property; 15. The real estate market; 16. Kinship and the sale of property; Conclusion; Appendix; Bibliography; Index.