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Parenting in England 1760-1830Emotion, Identity, and Generation$
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Joanne Bailey

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199565191

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199565191.001.0001

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Family Identity: Parentage, Parents, and Being Parented

Family Identity: Parentage, Parents, and Being Parented

Chapter:
(p.125) 5 Family Identity: Parentage, Parents, and Being Parented
Source:
Parenting in England 1760-1830
Author(s):

Joanne Bailey

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199565191.003.0006

Parents, memory and self‐knowledge were inextricably linked in life writings, revealing much about people's attitudes towards family and personal identity. This chapter explains that recounting parentage and describing parental qualities helped individuals construct identities in terms of social status, moral value and personal reputation. Remembered parental actions or interests were also seen as shaping children's lives. Very often it was parental crisis and death that were identified as significant terminations or disjunctions in offsprings’ life courses, causing major financial, material and emotional upheaval. Remembering and then recounting memories of parents possibly helped to heal the irrevocable discontinuity caused by unpredictable lives and frequent and sudden mortality.

Keywords:   parents, parentage, children, memory, family identity, personal identity, reputation, death, social status

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