Tutor: Jeremy Goldberg
Module type: Comparative Histories
Module Code: HIS00010H
Family is too familiar a concept. It is a basic building block of society. Modern, western families are small and nuclear. Politicians (and others) praise ‘traditional’ family values and bemoan the ‘breakdown’ of family. Comparative history challenges some of these givens. The western, nuclear family is not modern. For North American Indian peoples the ties of kinship extend far beyond the co-resident group, but the traditional Japanese family welcomed strangers as heirs if biological children were not considered up to the job. This course is about challenging preconceptions, opening minds, and trying to make sense of the apparent diversity of cultural understandings of who we should live with, what makes a home, how to raise children, or how to set up a household.
Seminar topics are likely to include the following:
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