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The Roads to Reproduction: Comparing Life-course Trajectories in Preindustrial Eurasia

Dribe, Martin
Manfredini, Matteo
Published in Lundh, C & Kurosu, S. Similarity in difference. Marriage in Europe and Asia, 1700-1900: MIT Press. 2014, p. 85-116
Abstract Marriage is, by definition, the product of human agency. It is a social construction in which individual decisions are shaped by household and wider socioeconomic contexts within the boundaries and constraints of social and cultural norms. This is the reason why marriage patterns differ markedly, for example, by geographical setting, gender, socioeconomic status, household structure, and religion. However, analytic frameworks of marriage patterns have mainly considered geography to be the most important element of differentiation, providing a simple synthesis of all the other aspects. For over two centuries, scholars have viewed marriage as a key element in the East–West divide (Engelen and Wolf 2005; Hajnal 1965; Lee and Wang 1999; Malthus 1803). For Malthus, the East was dominated by the positive check, with mortality crises and infanticide caused by excessive demographic pressure rooted in a culture of universal and early access to marriage for females, while the West regulated the access to marriage and consequently lowered fertility. For him, this pattern reflected a moral inferiority of the Eastern populations, the incapacity to control sexual appetites, especially in comparison with the Christian West (Bengtsson et al. 2004: 3; Lee and Wang 1999: ch. 2). Fifty years ago, Hajnal (1953, 1965) demonstrated the prevalence of the preventive check among European populations, and the originality of the so-called European marriage pattern of late access to marriage and frequent permanent celibacy.
ISBN: 9780262027946
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DRIBE, Martin, MANFREDINI, Matteo, ORIS, Michel. The Roads to Reproduction: Comparing Life-course Trajectories in Preindustrial Eurasia. In: Lundh, C & Kurosu, S (Ed.). Similarity in difference. Marriage in Europe and Asia, 1700-1900. [s.l.] : MIT Press, 2014. p. 85-116. https://archive-ouverte.unige.ch/unige:86221

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Deposited on : 2016-08-18

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