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Lecture 5: Social Topography

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McGill University
HIST 383
Brian Cowan

Lecture 5 Social TopographyProfessor Brian CowanDate September 14 2011The HouseholdWhat were family relations likehousehold as a unit of society basis for understanding British society common link both discussing how people should find their place within the household the kings household the entire realm the ladys household her fathers and then her husbands household was supposed to be a small commonwealth the father rules benevolently over his wife his children and his servants servants were part of the family necessary for running the place extended or multiple family households were very rare in 18th c Britain 45 individuals the usual number remains constant over period husband and wife is core of family children a crucial part children live with family until they were apprenticed or sent to school age 10 was the usual age they left the household nature of family relations debated was it a Darwinian struggle a cold loveless institution view developed by Lawrence Stone in 1977 remarkable at time because he was taking family sex and marriage seriously for historical circumstances suddenly in 18th c the affectionate family rises roundly criticized for this schematic sort of view family affection emotions are thought about historically in the 20th c parentchild relationships very important can be seen as cold and without affection fathers toughing up their son aristocrats were more highly educated so they are more likely to leave a record mostly because they think theyre really important this is our best source for the social trends letterwriting also an art form of the time a certain etiquette used to form the words the names and titles used to describe parents often referred to in very formal terms Latin titles Pater or Mater were sometimes used Latin was expected to be learned by gentlemen some affectionate terms as well variety in the ways that people address their closest family members 13 of all households contained livein servants 13 of all population were domestic servants 1851 occupational census 11 of all women over 10 were working as domestic servants 25 of all servants were women 1690s 81 of all servants were female apprentices were considered part of the household of the master craftsman a lot of the shop was associated with your home apprentices work was also to do basic household labour for your master either paid your dues through time or pay a fee apprentices were notoriously difficult to keep in order riots almost always apprentices hierarchical political institution the household every part of household had to fulfill its order the household itself had to fit into the larger social world
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