Family and Social Change

The Household as a Process in an Industrializing Community

This book examines the effects of nineteenth-century industrialization on the strength of relationships within the family and between generations. Dr. Janssens' quantitative approach, based on Dutch population registers, reveals a new perspective: although family life did go through some changes, early industrialization did not lead to the destruction of nineteenth-century family life, as the traditionally dominant view contended. This innovative study also illuminates wider social issues--the nature of hierarchies, class structure and household organization.


 Reviews:

"Overall, Janssens's book represents a fine example of the value of qualitative historical research....the findings cast powerful doubt upon Parson's static, functional arguments about family." Canadian Journal of Sociology

"The collection and analysis of data in this book are meticulous and painstaking...,Janssens's argument is generally convincing, and this book makes an important contribution to scholarship on household structure." American Historical Review

"Although specialist will find the main results of this study familiar, they will profit by the detailed information provided by the fifteen figures, thirty-two tables, and fifty-five appendixes. Readers will also appreciate the clear exposition of argument and evidence." Journal of Interdisciplinary History

"In this important book, Angélique Janssens provides the first sustained longitudinal investigation of patterns of extended family structure in the past....It deserves to be widely read and is bound to stimulate further research." Steven Ruggles, American Journal of Sociology

"...a well-written challenge to Parsons' claim that industrialization inevitably results in a shift from the extended to the nuclear family. With her longitudinal approach, she demonstrates the value of qualitative analysis for grasping the interaction of individuals and society during social and economic change that intervenes between societal processes such as industrialization, and the family." William M. Cross, European Studies Journal