The Phenomenon of a Burgher Family in the Early Modern Period
Fenomen rodziny mieszczańskiej we wczesnych wiekach nowożytnych
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The function of a burgher family passed through changes depending upon historical conditions and power relations. Every family member had its social role within the family framework. Family members followed stabilisedpattem ofbehaviour influenced by personal motivation. In the era of the early modem period the original forms of social life of the burghers passed through weakening and a polarisation of the małe and female role was strengthening. That was the beginning of a gradual division process of home and public sphere leading to a formation of a burgher model of traditional roles of husband and wife. These changes were being reflected in gradual transferring of productive eaming activities from the home sphere to the public sphere. In the pre-industrial phase of early modem period the burgher women, particularly those that took part in productive and economic entrepreneurial activities with their husbands, were relatively more independent and free than the women in industrial period when the role of women was understood as a guardian of the family hearth. With the modemisation and democratisation of the society a burgher model of a good wife and a polarisation of both genders were gradually pushing ahead. The dependence of the wife on the husband was not economic only. The wife had to subordinate her life plans to the career of her husband in public sphere and concentrate to the home sphere.
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