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UNIT 13: Family and Household

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READINGS

Reading 1

Candice Goucher, Charles LeGuin, and Linda Walton, "Ordering the World: Family and Household," in In the Balance: Themes in Global History (Boston: McGraw-Hill, 1998), 301–5.

Abstract: This essay considers family and household units in Ancient Egypt and West Asia. Although historians have only fragmentary evidence to reconstruct the exact organization of families and households in the distant past, they do know that family groups were extremely important to these ancient peoples. Whether they lived in unions we would recognize today as marriage, chose mates among their close relatives, or took one or more spouses, ancient peoples were deeply concerned with both household units and fertility for a variety of economic, cultural, and personal reasons.

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Reading 2

Candice Goucher, Charles LeGuin, and Linda Walton, "Ordering the World: Family and Household," in In the Balance: Themes in Global History (Boston: McGraw-Hill, 1998), 332–39.

Abstract: This essay considers both families and households, and the ways these intersected and interacted with the ideas, institutions, and communities of North America, South America, and West Africa before 1500. In so doing, it suggests the wide variety of family and household structures that existed around the world, and the differing ways in which gender, power, and lineage could be understood. Throughout, it demonstrates the complex ways in which economics and ideology helped to shape these most intimate of structures.

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Reading 3

Candice Goucher, Charles LeGuin, and Linda Walton, "The Crossroads of History: Culture, Identity, and Global Community," in In the Balance: Themes in Global History (Boston: McGraw-Hill, 1998), 922–29.

Abstract: This essay examines the nature of family around the world in the twentieth century. From China to the Islamic world to Africa, it focuses specifically on the challenges and pressures families have faced as a result of rising population, industrialization, urbanization, globalization, and changing gender roles. Despite all of these changes, however, the family continues to be the unit most important in shaping individual identity.

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