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family, stem


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Through field studies of family organization, Frédéric Le Play (1806–82) claimed to have distinguished four fundamental family types: namely, patriarchal, unstable, particularist and stem. The stem family was described as a more flexible modification of the patriarchal type. It was said to be typical of Central Europe, Spain, and Scandinavia; was the ideal for stability and prosperity; and consisted of six or seven members, typically free labourers or farm tenants, with clear intergenerational inheritance of either tenancy or smallholding.

Subjects: Sociology.


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