This book, which fills a gap on the materiality of lived relations, examines households within the context of their immediate physical surroundings of home and shows how human interactions are reflected in built forms. Houses are dynamic participants in family life in many ways. They often pre-date the origins and outlast the life spans of their inhabitants, but they can exert a powerful influence on the organization of behaviors and the values of family members, as well as on the forms and flows of family life across the generations. Constituting wealth, investment, security and inheritance, they are an objective in and of themselves in many domestic strategies. Drawing on developments within anthropology, archaeology, architecture and social history, the authors demonstrate, through detailed case studies, how household or family relations can usefully be mined to re-situate social theory in both space and time. Space, boundaries, family cycles, historic changes, migration patterns, ethnicity, memory and gender are all interrogated for the light they shed on how people interact with the physical world around them and what this means culturally and symbolically. Europe is an especially rich focus for this kind of analysis because it is distinguished by its long, well-documented history and a recent period of intense change.
Table of Contents
Notes on Contributors, Preface, Introduction: Houses and Families in Europe, Part I: House, Family and the Construction of History, Part II: Houses and the Construction of Family Life, Part III: House and Symbol The Power of Constructions, Author Index, Subject Index
Donna Birdwell-Pheasant, Lamar University Denise Lawrence-Züniga, California State Polytechnic University