Show Less
Restricted access

The Stem Family in Eurasian Perspective

Revisiting House Societies, 17th-20th centuries


Antoinette Fauve-Chamoux and Emiko Ochiai

Is the Asian stem family different from its European counterpart? This question is a central issue in this collection of essays assembled by two historians of the family in Eurasian perspective. The stem family is characterized by the residential rule that only one married child remains with the parents. This rule has a direct effect upon household structure. In short, the stem family is a domestic unit of production and reproduction that persists over generations, handing down the patrimony through non-egalitarian inheritance. In spite of its ambiguous status in current family typology as something lurking in the valley between the nuclear family and the joint family, the stem family was an important family form in pre-industrial Western Europe and has been a focus of the European family history since Frédéric Le Play and more recently Peter Laslett. However, the encounter with Asian family history has revealed that many areas in Asia also had and still have a considerable proportion of households with a stem-family structure. The stem family debate has entered a new stage. In this book, some studies that benefited from recently created large databases present micro-level analyses of dynamic aspects of family systems, while others discuss more broadly the rise and fall of family systems, past and present. A main concern of this book is whether the family type in a society is ethno-culturally determined and resistant to changes or created by socio-economic conditions. Such a comparison that includes Asian countries activates a new phase of the discussion on the stem family and family systems in a global perspective.
Contents: Antoinette Fauve-Chamoux/Emiko Ochiai: Introduction – Richard Wall: Ideology and Reality of the Stem Family in the Writings of Frédéric Le Play – Jürgen Schlumbohm: Strong Myths and Flexible Practices: House and Stem Family in Germany – Josef Ehmer: House and the Stem Family in Austria – Jim Brown: The Stem Family in Lower Austria, 1788-1848: Demographic and Economic Constraints – Sølvi Sogner: The Norwegian Stem Family: Myth or Reality? – Beatrice Moring: Land, Inheritance and the Finnish Stem Family – Antoinette Fauve-Chamoux: The Stem Family and the Picardy-Wallonia Model – Karl Kaser: The Stem Family in Eastern Europe: Cross-Cultural and Trans-Temporal Perspectives – Chiyo Yonemura/Mary Louise Nagata: Continuity, Solidarity, Family and Enterprise: What is an Ie? – Emiko Ochiai: Two Types of Stem Household System in Japan: the Ie in Global Perspective – Satomi Kurosu: Marriage, Divorce and Remarriage in a Stem-Family System: Women in Two Northeastern Japanese Villages, 1716-1870 – Hideki Nakazato: Transitions in Living Arrangements over the Life Course: Aging in a Rural Village in Japan, 1716-1869 – Mary Louise Nagata: Name Changing Patterns and the Stem Family in Early Modern Japan: Shimomoriya – Hanhee Hahm: Stem Family in Korea: Old and New – Paik Sungjong: Strategies of Survival: Variability of Family Structure in Tŏksu Village on Cheju Island, Korea from 1804 to 1809 – Khuat Thu Hong: Stem Family in Vietnam – Bhassorn Limanonda: An Empirical Analysis on the Stem Family: a Case Study of Thailand – Michel Cartier: Three Generation Families in Contemporary China: the Emergence of the Stem Family? – Antoinette Fauve-Chamoux: Family Reproduction and Stem-Family System: from Pyrenean Valleys to Norwegian Farms – Antoinette Fauve-Chamoux: A Comparative Study of Family Transmission Systems in the Central Pyrenees and Northeastern Japan.