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.
Watchmen of Female Sexuality and Defenders of Family Honour. Brothers as Guardians of their Sisters. Spain in Early Modern Times
Marta RUIZ SASTRE
Certain changes in basic family relationships lead to transformations in family systems. Tensions and imbalances in the unit of the system can be the result of the loss of centrality of certain bonds, or of the transfer of rights and privileges of a relation to another. Such imbalances make necessary a new readjustment of relations to reconstruct the harmony and unity of the whole. During the Ancien Régime, it is the father’s responsibility (because of the patria potestad) to integrate the rest of individuals in the family, to assign clearly distinguishable roles to each of them, and to impose order and discipline. It is the head of the family who centralises the basic faculties of administration and direction of the domestic system, while the wife and the children remain in a situation of clear obedience and subjection. In this sense, it is interesting to take into consideration the indispensable sexual identity present in all family relations at the time. Based on the alleged natural inferiority of the female gender, legislation and moralists back the subjection of the woman to the man. Being subjected to parental authority first, and later to that of the husband, the woman was also the last among her brothers. Fraternal bonds, far from constituting a relationship between equals, adopts a vertical distribution following – again – gender differences. Among siblings, relations between men and women are hence asymmetrical, resulting from the social-historical context that generates and articulates them, as well...
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