A Millennium of Family Change
  • -1
$24.95$17.4630% off
354 pages / October 1995 / 9781859840528

Please allow an additional 10–12 days for this book to be dispatched. Please note that this book may ship after other items in your order.

A powerful study of the changing structure of families. 
How do changes in family form relate to changes in society as a whole? In a work which combines theoretical rigour with historical scope, Wally Seccombe provides a powerful study of the changing structure of families from the Middle Ages to the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. Responding to feminist critiques of ‘sex-blind’ historical materialism, Seccombe argues that family forms must be seen to be at the heart of modes of production. He takes issue with the mainstream consensus in family history which argues that capitalism did not fundamentally alter the structure of the nuclear family, and makes a controversial intervention in the long-standing debate over European marriage patterns and their relation to industrialization. Drawing on an astonishing range of studies in family history, historical demography and economic history, A Millennium of Family Change provides an integrated overview of the long transition from feudalism to capitalism, illuminating the far-reaching changes in familial relations from peasant subsistence to the making of the modern working class.


“An immensely ambitious work in the classic tradition of historically-conceived sociology...A Millennium of Family Change provides a magisterial history of peasant and proletarian family relations in northwestern Europe.”

“Readers are sure to be impressed by the breadth of Seccombe's reading, the clarity and precision of his writing, and incisiveness of his critiques of recent literature...his sensitivity to gender and his thoughtful discussions of peasant and protoindustrial household power dynamics”

“Modes of production, demography, feminist theory—a heady mix. Seccombe's historical and comparative account of European family formation is lively and challenging, bringing together a diverse literature to build a powerful synthesis.”

“Will go a long way to answer some of the criticism feminists have made concerning 'male dominated' family research...a must for every serious student of the family and social change”

“One can only admire Seccombe's enthusiasm, erudition and drive and his ability to synthesize a vast range of dispute issues.”

“[A] stimulating and engaging argument...Scholars will be forced to grapple with Seccombe's contentions for decades; the Laslett thesis has been offered its most sustained challenge.”

Verso recommends