Comparative Studies in Society and History

Demography as an Aid to Comparative Study

Comparing Household Structure Over Time and Between Cultures

E. A. Hammela1 and Peter Lasletta1

a1 University of California, Berkeley, and Cambridge Group for the History of Population and Social Structure

Because of the importance of the family and household in all societies and at all historical periods, it is essential to be able to make comparisons between varieties of domestic groups. If we wish to comment on the extent to which the household is affected by social change and especially by the process of modernization, industrialization, social mobilization, or whatever that vague but ubiquitous phenomenon is called, it must be clear what would consitute such change. This means knowing how domestic group structure differs from country to country as well as from period to period.

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