KINSHIP AS A MECHANISM IN THE SOCIAL STRUCTURING OF RURAL CATALONIA (EIGHTEENTH AND NINETEENTH CENTURIES).

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    • Abstract:
      In Catalonia, a system based around a single heir was widely used. The families appointed the eldest son as primogenitor, and it was he who received the patrimony in exchange for finding positions in society for his brothers and sisters and for taking care of his parents. The women were the ones who left their own household to enter a new one and who became an important element in maintaining social relationships between the houses. The way in which the system was organized meant that the primogenitor married the daughter from a family that occupied a higher social order the younger sisters entered houses that occupied a lower social position, and the younger brothers sought refuge in celibacy in an attempt to avoid an even greater fall down the social ladder These links in the social chain—upward to a higher social order and downward to a lower social order—established by the same household allow the hypothesis to be forwarded that families of differing social status were connected with other families that occupied both a higher and a lower social status than their own through marriage, which would seem to indicate that kinship was an important mechanism of social structuring with considerable consequences for Catalan society, [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
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