The Making of the Modern Greek Family: Marriage and Exchange in Nineteenth-Century Athens

Overview

This 1991 study deals with a specific set of institutions in nineteenth-century Athens. Relying on matrimonial contracts, travellers' accounts, memoirs and popular literature, the authors show how distinctive forms of marriage, kinship and property transmission evolved in Athens in the nineteenth century. These forms then became a feature of wider Greek society which continued into the twentieth century. Greece was the first post-colonial modern nation state in Europe whose national identity was created largely ...
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Overview

This 1991 study deals with a specific set of institutions in nineteenth-century Athens. Relying on matrimonial contracts, travellers' accounts, memoirs and popular literature, the authors show how distinctive forms of marriage, kinship and property transmission evolved in Athens in the nineteenth century. These forms then became a feature of wider Greek society which continued into the twentieth century. Greece was the first post-colonial modern nation state in Europe whose national identity was created largely by peasants who had migrated to the city. As Athenian society became less agrarian, a new mercantile group superseded and incorporated previous elites and went on to dominate and control the new resources of the nation state. Such groups developed their own, more mobile, systems of property transmission, mostly in response to external pressures of a political and economic character. This is a persuasive piece of detective work which has advanced our knowledge of modern Greece. It is a model for scholarship on the development of family and other 'intimate' ideologies where nation states encroach upon local consciousness.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
'I feel that the authors have successfully presented valuable material on Greek marriage in the nineteenth century… They offer some brilliant insights for the careful reader to discover.' INTAMS: International Academy for Marital Spirituality
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Product Details

Table of Contents

List of illustrations; List of tables; Acknowledgements; 1. Introduction: history, family and the 'other' in Greece; 2. Men and houses, women and households; 3. Marriage, women and land in nineteenth-century Athens; 4. Gifts and commodities, cash and trousseaux; 5. 'For one's soul': adoption, fosterage and the growth of koumbaria; 6. The family and emotional life; 7. Conclusion: exchange, marriage and the person; Notes; References; Index.
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