Rethinking East-Central Europe: family systems and co-residence in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth
Volume 1: Contexts and analyses – Volume 2: Data quality assessments, documentation, and bibliography
Table Of Contents
- VOL. 21 / 1
- About the author
- About the book
- This eBook can be cited
- Table of contents
- List of Maps
- List of Tables
- List of Figures
- The book
- The scope of the study: four key areas
- Methodology and exposition
- Potential limitations of this study
- Organization of the book
- Part 1 Contexts
- 1. Genealogy of Eastern European difference
- 1.1 Symbolic geographies of East-Central Europe
- 1.2 The great European familial divide: The western perspective
- 1.2.1 F. Le Play: the origins of the great divide
- 1.2.2 Europa Slavica and the ‘danger from the east’: From German Volkskunde to Volkslehre
- 1.2.3 John Hajnal: let there be a line!
- 1.2.4 Bringing ‘western’ and ‘eastern European family’ types into being
- 1.2.5 Two ‘systems’ and four ‘regions’: welcome imprecision in the final model-building
- 1.3 Re-conceptualization of eastern European family pattern
- 1.3.1 Blurring the great divide: the ‘west’ in the ‘east’ and the quest for diversity
- 1.3.2 Re-emergence of a ‘middle space’ in Europe
- 1.3.3 ‘Hajnal-Mitterauer line’: old wine in a new bottle?
- 1.3.4 Persistence of perspective
- 1.4 Speaking for itself: studies on family, kinship, and marriage in historical Polish lands
- 1.4.1 Polish scholarship
- 1.4.2 Family and household studies in Lithuania and Belarus
- 1.4.3 Family composition in the Ukraine
- 1.4.4 Descent groups among eastern and western Slavs: unity and diversity
- 1.4.5 Polish ethnography and the ‘ethno-geographic boundary’ in Poland-Lithuania
- 1.4.6 Conclusions
- 2. The CEURFAMFORM Database: its scope, content, and structure
- 2.1 Spatiotemporal distribution of data
- 2.2 Territorial groupings
- 2.2.1 Regions
- 2.2.2 Clusters
- 2.3 Size of the collection
- 2.4 CEURFAMFORM in relation to other large databases
- 2.5 The primary sources
- 2.6 The normative compatibility of the sources
- 2.7 The comparability of information on living arrangements
- 2.8 ‘House’ as the unit of observation
- 2.9 Selection of listings
- 2.10 Representativeness of the collection
- 2.10.1 What fraction of the actual population has been captured?
- 2.10.2 Anticipated implications of issues yet to be resolved
- 2.11 Order out of chaos: the recording and the encoding of the microdata information
- 3. Socioeconomic, environmental, and cultural propensities and their regional variants
- 3.1 Population density
- 3.2 Ethnic and religious differentiation
- 3.3 The manorial system and its local variants
- 3.4 Agrarian crisis of the 17th century and its consequences
- 3.5 Differences and similarities in 18th-century socioeconomic conditions
- 3.5.1 Western and central parts (regions 1–8)
- 3.5.2 The Belarusian lands of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania (regions 11N and 11S)
- 3.5.3 Right-bank Ukraine and Galicia (regions 9 and 10)
- 3.6 Landowning, inheritance and co-residence in peasant customary law and practice
- 3.6.1 The peasant-manor relations
- 3.6.2 Peasant customary inheritance and residential predilections
- 3.6.3 Toward an analytical framework
- 4. A note on time and cohorts
- 5. Computer microsimulation and the study of historical living arrangements
- Part 2 Analyses
- 6. Home-leaving patterns in historic Poland-Lithuania
- 6.1 Introduction
- 6.2 Variable operationalization and first estimates
- 6.3 Controlling for demography
- 6.4 After microsimulation: timing, prevalence, and spread of home-leaving
- 6.5 Diversity of experience
- 6.6 Toward an explanation of regional differences
- 6.7 Different pathways on the routes from home
- 6.8 Concluding remarks
- 7. Life-cycle service
- 7.1 Introduction
- 7.2 Life-cycle service ‘West’ and ‘East’: things known and unknown
- 7.3 Servant population in the CEURFAMFORM Database
- 7.3.1 The numerical importance of servants and its variability across space
- 7.4 Servants in western Poland-Lithuania
- 7.4.1 Numerical importance of service: a comparative perspective
- 7.4.2 Demographic characteristics of the servant population
- 7.5 Domestic service and its features in the East
- 7.5.1 Why there were so few servants in the East?
- 7.6 Modelling the presence of servants in rural societies of western Poland-Lithuania
- 7.6.1 Ecological relationships
- 7.6.2 General rationale behind the household-level model
- 7.6.3 Household-level predictors of the presence of servants
- 7.6.4 Results of the general and sex-specific regression models
- 7.6.5 Discussion
- 7.7 Concluding remarks
- 8. When to marry? Nuptiality and entry into marriage
- 8.1 The importance of marriage
- 8.2 Objectives
- 8.3 Measurement issues
- 8.4 Regional nuptiality patterns: the Im index
- 8.5 Age pattern of marriages
- 8.6 Permanent celibacy
- 8.7 Comparative ventures
- 8.7.1 Intensity of nuptiality
- 8.7.2 Marital timing
- 8.8 Persistence over time
- 8.9 The Polish-Lithuanian variation: some ‘why’ questions and answers
- 8.9.1 Early marriage, mortality, and the type of family system
- 8.9.2 Availability of mates
- 8.9.3 Feasibility of marriage
- 8.9.4 Marital decisions and the lineage ideology
- 8.9.5 Religious prescriptions and the regulation of marriage
- 8.9.6 Parental control: demography, property, and marital behaviour
- 8.9.7 Manorial pressures
- 8.9.8 Patrilineal bias, social structure, and female virginity
- 8.9.9 Economic rationality of female early and… late marriage
- 8.10 Implications
- 8.10.1 The mosaic of Polish-Lithuanian nuptiality
- 8.10.2 Typological classification of eastern Poland
- 9. Where to live? Household formation and postmarital residence
- 9.1 Introduction
- 9.2 The importance of headship, and the marriage and household formation nexus
- 9.3 Underlying principles seen through qualitative sources
- 9.4 Headship patterns in the CEURFAMFORM Database
- 9.5 Age at becoming head
- 9.6 Entry into marriage and headship attainment
- 9.7 Some necessary comparisons
- 9.8 Time between marriage and headship
- 9.9 The residential circumstances of young married men
- 9.9.1 Major facets of regional differentiation
- 9.9.2 Currently married non-heads
- 9.9.3 The limits of marrying into the natal house
- 9.9.4 Currently married heads
- 9.10 Inferences about headship succession from microsimulation
- 9.11 Summary comments
- 9.12 Poland-Lithuania and European household formation systems
- 10. Domestic group structure and living arrangements
- 10.1 Introduction
- 10.2 Co-residence as a facet of family system
- 10.3 Approach to co-residence taken here
- 10.3.1 Unit of analysis
- 10.3.2 Measurement
- 10.4 Mean size of domestic group
- 10.5 Domestic group structure
- 10.5.1 The extent of polynucleation
- 10.5.2 Further household arithmetic
- 10.5.3 Disaggregation of polynuclear households
- 10.6 Characteristics of kin co-residence
- 10.6.1 The composition of a co-resident kin group
- 10.6.2 Co-resident kin and ‘kinship universe’ of the Polish-Lithuanian peasantry
- 10.7 A digression: two Ukraines?
- 10.8 Dynamics of household co-residence and living arrangements
- 10.8.1 Methodological remarks
- 10.8.2 Changing size of domestic groups
- 10.8.3 Household life cycles
- 10.8.4 Living arrangements over the life course
- 10.8.5 Dynamics of kinship ties within co-resident group
- 10.9 Unrelatedness and living arrangements of lodgers
- 10.10 Stem-families, joint-families
- 10.10.1 Two key family types
- 10.10.2 Cambridge Group typology
- 10.10.3 Proportions of the elderly in stem- and joint-family arrangements
- 10.11 Demographic constraints on the prevalence of stem- and joint-family arrangements
- 10.12 Parent-child co-residence in western Poland-Lithuania: continuity or reincorporation?
- 10.13 Stem-families and joint-families: a recapitulation
- 10.13.1 The prevalence of nuclear households in the west
- 10.13.2 Western Poland-Lithuania and Westphalia: one type of the stem-family society?
- 10.13.3 Extension of the Russian pattern in Polessya?
- 10.13.4 A stem-family society without the stem-family ideology?
- 10.14 A quest for potential determinants
- General conclusions
- Series index
- VOL. 21 / 2
- About the author
- About the book
- This eBook can be cited
- Table of contents
- List of Tables
- List of Figures
- 1. Appendix 1: Data quality assessment
- 1.1 Introduction
- 1.2 Lack of internal consistency of enumeration schedules, and the lodging problem
- 1.3 Missing information on individuals’ characteristics
- 1.3.1 Age non-reporting
- 1.3.2 Marital status omissions
- 1.3.3 The omission of surnames
- 1.3.4 Unspecified kinship pointers
- 1.3.5 Preferential reckoning of co-resident kin
- 1.4 Underenumeration
- 1.4.1 Proportions of minors and of the aged in population
- 1.4.2 Proportion of infants in the population
- 1.4.3 The proportions of elderly people and the frequency of extended households
- 1.5 Age heaping and digit preference
- 1.5.1 General patterns in digit preference
- 1.5.2 Digit preference on zero and five
- 1.5.3 Preference for and avoidance of all digits of age
- 1.5.4 Who was rounding off their age, and why?
- 1.5.5 Age heaping in Poland-Lithuania: discussion
- 1.6 Population age structure
- 1.7 Proportions of the sexes
- 1.8 Age schedules from Poland-Lithuania compared with other enumerations
- 1.9 Domestic group members most affected by under-reporting
- 1.10 The lack of a golden rule and available solutions
- 1.10.1 Fitting the reported data into standard age schedules
- 1.10.2 Benefits and costs of unconventional age groupings
- 1.11 Concluding remarks
- 2. Appendix 2: Higher-rank order agglomeration
- 3. Data documentation
- 4. Bibliography
- Series index
An intellectual undertaking of this sort would never have been possible without institutional, intellectual, and personal support. This book originates in my Marie-Curie Intra-European Fellowship project (FP6-2002-Mobility-5, Proposal No. 515065 – ‘Astride of Hajnal’s line: Central Europe and the geography of family forms, 17th–19th centuries’) carried out between 2006–2008 at the Cambridge Group for the History of Population and Social Structure. As these early stages of my work are now recalled, Richard Wall’s continuous encouragement to write a monograph on Polish-Lithuanian family patterns remains unforgettable.
Most of the book was written at the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research in Rostock. Special thanks go to Joshua Goldstein, the director of the Institute until 2013, for his generous support and providing an excellent working environment. Accordingly, I am greatly indebted to Chris Hann, the director of the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, without whose hospitality in Halle this endeavour would have never been completed.
My greatest debt is to my friend and colleague Siegfried Gruber who was my chief consultant on database construction and management. The most valuable features of the database used for this research stand to the credit of Siegfried who patiently turned my original rough directory into a modern vehicle for a multifarious analysis of co-residence.
I want to express my special gratitude to my sister Julia Szołtysek who from the beginning of this endeavor has assisted me with language editing and translations of parts of the text from Polish to English. It is no exaggeration to say that without my unlimited access to her help and support this work would never have been completed. As regards language editing and proofreading, Miriam Hills has been also extremely helpful.
Several other scholars deserve mention. Jim Oeppen of the MPIDR has generously agreed to design CAMSIM microsimulation for Polish-Lithuanian populations and over the twelve months of work accepted my endless requests for clarifications and modifications of the program. Julia Jennings from the California Institute of Technology has run the most complex regression models in chapter 7 and devoted much of her time ← xxix | xxx → to long discussions of the outcome. Piotr Guzowski from the University of Białystok in Poland, has been extremely forthcoming in accepting my requests for piles of literature otherwise not available in western European libraries. Finally, I wish to thank Josef Ehmer, Georg Fertig and Yvonne Kleinmann for their comments on an earlier draft of the book.
Last, but not least, I incurred a great debt to my nuclear family – Anna, Maks and Natalie, for their love, patience and flexibility. I am especially grateful to my wife Anna who was loving enough to put up with me during the course of the project which for her must have often seemed larger than life.
Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology,
Halle (Saale), March 25, 2015.
The continuing process of European integration prompts us to ask how homogeneous or heterogeneous the experiences of people in the past were, and to search for the underlying dimensions of the ‘European identity.’ A primary focus of this treatise is the family-demographic identity of the ‘open intermediary region of East Central Europe’ (Halecki 1952, 6) and of the ‘lands between Germany and Russia,’ the characteristics of which have long been debated by scholars (Bideleux and Jeffries 1998)1.
The concept of ‘East-Central Europe’ emerged among historians and political and social scientists as a critical reaction to the usual practice of treating eastern Europe as a coherent whole to be juxtaposed with the west. This idea arose in part as a result of the geopolitical transformations following the annus mirabilis of 1989, which pushed the region toward a radical repositioning within Europe, but also because of intensified scrutiny by historians, who suggested that there was a need to redefine this area of the continent, and to break away from the simplistic dichotomy in which the ‘center’ is contrasted with the ‘periphery.’
One of the most important reasons for assigning ‘East-Central Europe’ a common regional identity was the unique co-existence and mutual influence over many years of western and Byzantine Slavic civilizations in that area. According to some scholars, the region featured particular kinds of dialogue between an occidentalized culture and a culture linked to the eastern church. Yet for others, the region represented a transitional zone where western and eastern European influences mixed with one another, creating predominantly eastern features moderated by western influences in some places, and the reverse in others. This ‘vast terra incognita’ of Europe was at times ‘very definitely part of Europe as a whole and ← 1 | 2 → closely connected with the Latin West.’ It was geographically eastern, but with ‘defective’ western-like social and political structures. It followed the same route of historical development as the west, but more slowly and with greater uncertainty. It represented a hybrid, but viable regional identity differentiated from the identities of both Germany and Russia; it was the place where many historical-cultural fault lines dividing the west from eastern European and Islamic civilizations were located. It was, in short, ‘the East on the West’ and ‘the West on the East’ (Bakic-Hayden and Hayden 1992, 1).
The geographical borders of that open transitional area have been debated and continue to be seen as problematic, vague, or inconsistent (Sedlar 1994, ix–sx; Magocsi 1993, 2; Palmer 1970). Most advocates of the concept agreed that it was located geographically between the Germanic and east Slavic lands. However, while Polish historians have generally opted for including the territories of Lithuania, Belarus, and the Ukraine (and all of the non-Russian Slavs living there) under the heading of ‘East-Central Europe,’ others were more reluctant to do so (e.g., Halecki 1950, 1952; Wandycz 1992). Even though the question of where East-Central Europe ends has never been settled precisely, constructing a common ‘East-Central European space’ has often served to build genuine interpretive frameworks for understanding the differences and the similarities between cultures which had common historical legacies (Janowski 1999; 2005, 55ff.; Kosáry 1988). Until now, however, this East-Central European perspective has most often been used to discuss regional interconnectedness, similarities and differences in socioeconomic development (e.g., Berend and Ránky 1982), patterns of nation formation and national identity discourses, military history, and shared cultural traditions (Janowski 1999; Janowski et al. 2005; Kłoczowski et al. 1994b). In this context, we would argue that the construction of historical regions in East-Central Europe would benefit significantly from incorporating the notion of ‘family systems’ into the analysis.
As the family is a crucial element of society, a primary arena for the expression of age and sex roles, and for kinship, socialization, and economic cooperation, family organization has been seen as being of primary importance for social reproduction and for the transmission of values (Nimkoff 1965; Bourdieu 1976; Netting et al. 1984a; Todd 1985; Segalen 1986; Zonabend 1996). Family relations may serve to define the relationship between the individual and the authorities, and may also provide the ← 2 | 3 → model for political systems (Todd 1985, 1987; Mamadouh 1999; Greif 2006; Duranton et al. 2009; Alesina and Giuliano 2010).
If this is indeed the case, then the concept of ‘family systems’ (see below) should provide an important means of conceptualizing more precisely otherwise vague notions of East-Central European ‘cultural traditions’ and ‘shared identities’ (cf. Todorova 1997, 145–148). It also offers us the opportunity to investigate the extent to which shared ‘cultural’ and historical heritage commonly ascribed to the East-Central European space manifests itself in the patterning of the most fundamental units of human social organization. Thus, the incorporation of ‘family systems’ into the discussion of region-building in Europe would not merely widen the East-Central European regional debate; it would bring us to the very foundations upon which the spatiality of regional cultural identities in that part of Europe can be approached. Spatial analysis of family systems within the East-Central European space should not only facilitate a better understanding of the region’s defining features and help us to distinguish them from the adjacent parts of Europe; it may also enable us to uncover internal divisions and subdivisions within East-Central Europe.
This book takes a stance on scholarly attempts to construct historical regions in eastern Europe by providing a comprehensive and much- needed description of peasant family organization and living arrangements in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth of the 18th century2. The commonwealth was one of the largest political entities in Europe of that time, and was the largest of the geographical sub-zones within East-Central Europe (Magocsi 1993, 2). ← 3 | 4 →
At least since the 1970s, family historians, demographers, and sociologists alike have been seeking to brand major areas of Europe with a particular type of family system. The idea that some European regions have distinct household and family patterns has been asserted with a high degree of confidence by scholars studying the living arrangements of eastern European societies. One of the central tenets of sociological and historical studies of the family has long been the existence of a specific, peculiar ‘eastern European type’ of domestic group organization. Its inherent features – i.e., complex family organization, early and universal marriage, and familistic societal values – were presumed to transcend physical, political, and cultural boundaries in sustaining a common family model across the vast territory of the European ‘east.’ The popularity of this reductionist view of historical family behavior in eastern Europe has persisted among western scholars, even though it is incompatible with the general acknowledgement that the region has a wide variety of languages, confessions, and cultures, as well as heterogeneous ecological and institutional settings (Szołtysek 2012)3.
While the growing interest among western scholars in studying macro-regional differences has led to a series of heuristically interesting attempts to map the history of European families, it has also blocked the awareness of variation within these regions, especially with regard to Europe’s eastern territories. This monograph seeks to place the study of population and its heterogeneity in eastern Europe on a very different footing through a thorough analysis of a hitherto unprecedented collection of historical microdata from the vast expanses of the eastern part of the continent, which has long been placed at the far end of the spectrum of the presumed ‘true’ European family system.
The goals of the present project have been realized at several different levels. Primarily – and emotionally – the book was conceived as a reaction to excessive generalizations based on the western European experience; ← 4 | 5 → hence the inclusion of ‘rethinking’ in the title. Thus, concretely, the aim of this book is to reconstruct family structures in the forms they originally took on the historical lands of East-Central Europe in a period in which traditional social and demographic patterns still had a considerable degree of permanence. This research scope gives rise to additional goals, including positioning the investigated Polish-Lithuanian material within the framework of models of historical family systems as they were shaped by western science, and highlighting a variety of ways in which the family patterns of different subpopulations of Poland-Lithuania were nested in their respective local and regional contexts.
‘From scratch’: Poland-Lithuania and the European geography of family systems
This project seeks to answer a seemingly simple question: What were the co-resident domestic groups of historical East-Central Europe, and their associated demographic behavior, really like? A quick perusal of historical family texts does not prove useful in addressing this issue. Even a cursory scan of the literature up to the end of the 20th century reveals that, during the last three decades, the topic of family forms in East-Central Europe – and this applies specifically to historical Polish territories – have suffered from both neglect and over-generalization. During the most formative decades of the 1970s and the 1980s, when the framework for the analysis of geography of family forms and household formation rules in pre-industrial Europe was being set up, and when all of the most heated debates were taking place, the picture of central European family forms in the international academic literature was influenced predominantly by the foreign discourse. As a result, family forms in historical East-Central Europe have been included by induction in well-established generalizations about eastern Europe, and about Russia in particular (Burguière and Lebrun 1996; Hartman 2004, 34–69; Schofield 1989; Thornton 2005, 51–53).
Since Hajnal’s and Laslett’s groundbreaking studies (Hajnal 1965, 1983; Laslett 1977a, 1983), the field of family history research has faced a number of challenges and has undergone several transformations (e.g. Engelen and Wolf 2005). Since the publication of seminal volumes on European family in 1972 and in 1983 (Laslett and Wall 1972; Wall et al. 1983), the sheer number of local investigations has multiplied, adding ← 5 | 6 → to the complexity of the pattern hitherto taken for granted. Thus, some scholars have felt increasingly compelled to reject attempts to brand major areas of historical Europe as having had a particular type of household system (esp. Kertzer 1991). Driven by micro-historical and anthropological perspectives, they turned to the localized demographic, economic, cultural, and institutional underpinnings of particular family forms (Kaser 2002; Kertzer, Hogan and Karweit 1992; Plakans 1977), leaving the big questions of the macro-regional patterning of domestic groups structure in historic Europe behind (for exceptions, see Viazzo 2003, 2009, 2010). Much of the newest research on household and family behaviors now takes place within a Eurasian comparative setting, with scholars shifting their attention away from efforts to discern patterns and regularities within Europe, and toward inter-continental comparisons (e.g., Fauve-Chamoux and Ochiai 2009; Fauve-Chamoux 2005; Derosas and Oris 2002; Van Poppel et al. 2003; Tsuya et al. 2010)4.
The movement away from the previous tendency to regionalize family forms in historic Europe toward the exploration of the particularities of local family and household systems, as well as toward the making of large-scale comparisons, has been valuable and stimulating (cf. Kertzer 1991; Ruggles 2012; Alter 2013). At the same time, however, scholars appear to have lost sight of some crucial aspects of historical European family systems. In particular, the speculative assessments of eastern European familial characteristics by western scholars continue to be perpetuated in the scholarly discourse, thereby sustaining the myth of the existence of a demographically uniform eastern Europe in which all people married young and lived in patriarchal households (see Ch. 1). Meanwhile, the true geography of historical European family systems has yet to be unraveled (also Viazzo 2009). This type of painstaking reconstruction will, however, be necessary if a comprehensive history of family forms in East-Central Europe is to be written.
Thus, the original, supposedly simple question turned into a more complex research agenda. If our knowledge of East-Central European ← 6 | 7 → family structures had been based solely on assumptions embedded in the English-language literature, then reassessing the picture of East-Central European family patterns ‘from scratch’ and placing it in a European comparative context would have become the principal goal of the project. With such an agenda in mind, the problématique of this book would not have been very different from that of preceding classic works and would have led us to the well-worn paths of previous studies of family forms, albeit transferred onto a geographical, historical, and socioeconomic context which had not yet been adequately explored. The result? A historical demographic study of living arrangements and co-residence patterns, which, for the first time since Hajnal’s and Laslett’s essays from 1960s and 1980s, provides us with a precise mapping of the vast eastern European terrain based on the crucial variables with which they both were concerned: leaving home, marriage patterns and household formation, and domestic group structure and service.
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- Publication date
- 2015 (December)
- family systems living arrangements household structure East-Central Europe historical census microdata serfdom Historical family demography comparative family history
- Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, New York, Wien, 2015. 826 pp.