Family Life in the Twentieth Century
This third and final volume of The History of the European Family series concludes a comprehensive work synthesising what is known about the history of the European family over the past five centuries. It places family history and the changing life experience of ordinary people at the heart of the new social history. The 20th century saw extraordinary events and changes that were without precedent in human history. It was the century of world wars, of economic crises, and of radically new ideologies and political regimes; yet it was also the century of guaranteed social rights, economic growth and the advent of the Welfare State. The profound political and social transformations that took place between 1914 and 2000 had a huge impact on European families, particularly in relation to women and contraception, work and migration, domestic instability, and the law. One of the fundamental questions raised by Marzio Barbagli and David I. Kertzer is whether, and to what extent, different European societies became more or less similar over the course of the 20th century, as far as the nature of family life is concerned. Bringing together ten contemporary scholars in the field from across Europe and America, the editors present a collection of essays which explore the influences of the economy, the state, the church, the world wars, and other demographic forces over the European family during the most violent century in history.