Les fratries ont-elles une histoire ? Longtemps oubliées par l’historiographie, elles suscitent aujourd’hui un intérêt grandissant chez les historiens, dont témoigne cet ouvrage collectif riche d’une trentaine de contributions issues de deux colloques internationaux. Mal connus, frères et sœurs tiennent pourtant une place centrale au sein des relations familiales. En privilégiant la longue durée et un vaste ensemble géographique, de l’Amérique du Nord à l’Europe, les éditeurs du volume ont voulu saisir leur histoire en confrontant des systèmes de parenté différents et en perpétuelle transformation. Définir et mesurer les fratries, les analyser comme une ressource en associant stratégies collectives et trajectoires individuelles, vivre et représenter la fraternité enfin : autant de pistes suivies par les auteurs attentifs à ne pas oublier les sœurs. Grâce à la variété des études rassemblées ici, écrire l’histoire du lien fraternel offre l’opportunité de renouveler l’approche de l’évolution des systèmes de parenté en même temps que celle des relations familiales.
Do brotherhood and sisterhood have a history? They have long been forgotten by historiography but now are benefitting from a growing interest from historians. This collective work, with thirty contributions from historians from different countries, testifies to this new interest. Although badly known, brothers and sisters occupy a central place in family relations. By emphasizing the long term and a large geographical area, from North America to Europe, the editors of this volume wish to seize their history by confronting different systems of kinship that are constantly evolving. To define and measure sibling relationships, to analyze them as a resource through the association of collective strategies and individual trajectories, to live and represent brother and sisterhood: these are the paths followed by the authors who have been careful not to forget sisters. Thanks to the variety of the studies assembled here, writing the history of fraternal relations offers the opportunity to renew approaches to the evolution of both kinship and family relations.
Diverging Pathways? Sibling Differences in Marriage Timing in a Commercialized Rural Region of The Netherlands, 1860–1940
Hilde BRAS and Jan KOK
Even in societies with a free partner choice, children’s marriage chances were subject to the distribution of power within families, reflected in the intra-family allocation of duties and resources. How to understand this allocation and its impact on life courses? The duties of a child may include having to leave home early, in order to earn money to supplement the household’s income, or staying at home to assist ageing parents. In the first case, the child gains working experience, meets potential spouses, and perhaps saves some money, which may contribute to a better position on the marriage market. In the latter case, a child may have to forego the experience of moving and working outside the household, which probably lowers marriage chances. On the other hand, he or she can invest in local networks and possibly stands a better chance to inherit the home. In societies in which marriage is tied to inheritance this may actually improve the marriage chances of such a child. Resources are also allocated unevenly. Depending on inheritance customs, norms promoting gender inequality and the existence of age hierarchies, strong differences can exist between children in terms of life chances1. This may already become apparent at birth ; in several societies, children of a specific (generally female) gender or birth order are not welcome and are subject to neglect or downright ← 189 | 190 → infanticide.2 Differences between boys and girls, first-born and later-born may persist throughout...
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