Family and Social Change

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This book is a quantitative study into the influence of the process of industrialisation on the nature and strength of family relationships in a Dutch community between 1850 and 1920. The study makes use of the unique and unusually rich source of Dutch population registers, which enables the author to trace the history of individual households. The study closely relates aspects of family and household with the social processes characteristic of an industrialising society, such as increasing rates of social and geographical mobility and the shift of production from the home into the factory. Results reveal a striking continuity in the strength of nineteenth-century family relations despite the gradual but profound process of social change surrounding these families. Changes in behavioural patterns did occur, however, under the influence of changes in demographic rates, regional geographical mobility systems and local developments in the housing market. Nevertheless, these changes cannot be taken as a weakening of family relationships.

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