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Content archived on 2024-05-29

Astride's of Hajnal line: central and the geography of family forms, 17th - 19th centuries

Final Activity Report Summary - CEURFAMFORM (Astride's of Hajnal line: Central and the geography of family forms, 17th - 19th centuries)

The project investigated the patterns of family and household formation among peasant societies of East-Central Europe at the end of 18th century. Within the framework of the Marie Curie scholarship a dark spot in the history of European family structures has been opened. This is so because the project explored one of the largest collections of historical household data in Europe on preindustrial rural settings, it transformed this data into usable historical information that will have wide currency, and applied a variety of methodologies in its analysis to reveal various aspects of family systems, as well as their spatial distribution.

Through this, the project made an original contribution to our understanding of family structures in Eastern Europe, in particular, by challenging long-standing generalisations and assumptions about the nature of family life in this region in the past. The results indicate that the existing models of household systems in preindustrial Europe are far too rigid to meet the diversity of residential patterns of the Eastern European serfs. In this regard, for example, it has been revealed that historical family structures in this area displayed elements of Central European, Russian, and Balkan family structures, but in a unique constellation and composition.