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Similarity in DifferenceMarriage in Europe and Asia, 1700-1900$
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Christer Lundh and Satomi Kurosu

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780262027946

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262027946.001.0001

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Between Constraints and Coercion

Between Constraints and Coercion

Marriage and Social Reproduction in Northern and Central Italy in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries

Chapter:
(p.295) 9 Between Constraints and Coercion
Source:
Similarity in Difference
Author(s):

Renzo Derosas

Marco Breschi

Alessio Fornasin

Matteo Manfredini

Cristina Munno

Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:10.7551/mitpress/9780262027946.003.0009

The main theories of household and marriage systems outlined by historians and demographers are unable to account for the astonishing variety of family and marriage patterns that characterize modern Italy. This chapter proposes a new interpretative framework, which singles out the goals and mechanisms of social reproduction as the main factor constraining marital behavior and household formation in the past. This theory is tested through an analysis of first marriage in five populations in northern and central Italy, characterized by different ecological, economic, and social conditions. The results reveal that coercive factors, determined by socioeconomic status and household composition, mattered much more than Malthusian economic constraints in the timing of and access to marriage.

Keywords:   Marriage, social reproduction, Italy, family formation

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