The Village

Katherine Pickering Antonova

in An Ordinary Marriage

Published in print December 2012 | ISBN: 9780199796991
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199979721 | DOI:
The Village

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The day-to-day realities of provincial gentry like the Chikhachevs centered on the village and the province, rather than the capital cities. The landowning gentry enjoyed a privileged position, but they were also aware of their responsibilities to those who depended on them, and perhaps even more so of the fragility of the entire system. The village was the center of the Chikhachevs’ world, and Andrei idealized its potential as a model of and for the Russian nation. This moderating view—not uncommon among the provincial gentry—was disregarded in mid-nineteenth-century discussions about serf emancipation. This chapter examines hierarchy within the village and how the Chikhachevs’ gendered parental roles informed Andrei’s paternalistic attitude and behavior toward his serfs, in an attempt to understand how the social dynamics of the village defined the daily life of the provincial gentry, and to a large extent how the nature of the village informed the gendering of roles in the gentry nuclear family.

Keywords: serfdom; provinces; hierarchy; paternalism; family; landowning; gentry

Chapter.  14423 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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