Conclusions. In search of symptom-formation factors Notes

8. Post Scriptum. Flowing back into the river-bed of the stem-family

Applying the accentuation principle, we can assume that different, regionally rooted, family and kinship patterns "react" in contact with an appropriate reagent, such as the macro-process of modernisation, generating different patterns of today's demographic behaviour. In such a way the economic and structural changes in the Eighties and Nineties (with an imbalance between aspirations and resources producing a need for greater control) should have provoked a sort of ebb into the bed of anthropological practices and structures prevailing in the Southern and Mediterranean regions [Note 56].

A reflux, by the way, that very often takes the shape of the effect of a rational choice. We know, for instance, that in twentieth-century cities both the size and form of urban apartments prevented the eldest child from keeping the patri-local residence at marriage. Nevertheless, the growing wellbeing of the Southern Countries of Europe during recent decades has produced a marked increase in the average size of homes. In this more comfortable dwelling system, an only child can again continue living in the family home, even after his marriage, and this is convenient, both for the child and for his parents. So, far from being swept by the Northern European family pattern, the stem-family and the kinship-alliance family patterns in Southern Europe would seem paradoxically to have been revitalised by contact with the wave of modernisation.

 

Conclusions. In search of symptom-formation factors Notes

Kinship, Family and Social Network: The anthropological embedment of fertility change in Southern Europe
Giuseppe A. Micheli
© 2000 Max-Planck-Gesellschaft ISSN 1435-9871
http://www.demographic-research.org/Volumes/Vol3/13