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A Bitter LivingWomen, Markets, and Social Capital in Early Modern Germany$
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Sheilagh Ogilvie

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780198205548

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198205548.001.0001

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The Social and Demographic Framework

The Social and Demographic Framework

(p.39) CHAPTER TWO The Social and Demographic Framework
A Bitter Living


Oxford University Press

Childcare often makes intensive use of women's time, so this chapter examines the demographic and familial framework in the pre-industrial German society under analysis in this book and sets it in a broader European context. It begins by exploring the potential influence of reproductive responsibilities on women's work by examining marriage ages, celibacy rates, and illegitimacy ratios. It then proceeds to investigate the sexual division of labour within the family by analysing household structure, the female life cycle, and sex ratios in different household roles. Finally, it conducts a multivariate analysis of burial donations to assess the determinants of social esteem for individuals of both sexes at different points in the life-cycle. These findings are used to draw preliminary conclusions regarding biological, technological, cultural, and institutional hypotheses about the determinants of women's economic position in pre-industrial societies.

Keywords:   fertility, family, household structure, marriage, illegitimacy, burial practices, social capital, Germany, Württemberg

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