These notes are the fifth in a series of fifteen lectures for my class Dynamics of the Family.

  1. from biological to social reproduction threatened by biology

    (because of illness, death, need for material resources)

    1. reproducing a social world
      1. "democracy" (or any other ideology inscribed in institutions, laws, etc.)
      2. material infrastructures (machines, technologies, know-how, etc.)
    2. reproducing a personal position in a social world
    3. xxx
  2. Symbolic and material issues
    1. teaching (formally and informally; in passing and through explicit instruction)
    2. recruitment into material infrastructures (sometimes known as the production "human capital")
  3. Methods for social reproduction
    1. "devolution" of one generation for the next: "transmission between holder and heir" (Goody 1977: 6)
    2. and variation in the methods of this devolution.
      1. classical inheritance at death
      2. dowry
      3. other forms of material contributions to the future of children (e.g., in the United States: moving into a town with "good schools," paying for college)
      4. other forms of symbolic contribution (e.g. reading to children, taking them to museums, on trips, etc.)
  4. The interplay between ecology, technology, methods for devolution, and ancillary consequences
    1. plows vs. hoes and their relation to land and climate
    2. different constraints on the accumulation of wealth
    3. consequences on the types and methods for control by the older generation on the younger
      1. age consequences (when to devolve what).
      2. birth order
      3. gender and the control of sexuality
      4. symbolic controls (honor, art, etc.)
    4. class differentiation in "plow" societies
      1. landed vs. non-landed
      2. forms of slavery, indentured service, farm workers
      3. polygamy
  5. from farming to commerce, administration, industry
    1. New relations between social organization of production, segmentation of possibilities, and issues with social reproduction
      1. apprenticeships
      2. guilds
      3. schooling
Some questions in the context of this lesson
  • Check the piece by Ann Carrns in the New York Times (March 1, 2014): sort out what may relate to "structural matters" (as Goody might envision them), and what may relate to the "agency" of the Appelbaum's. What is it that they cannot escape? What choices are they left with?
  • Goody mostly focuses on agricultural production. How might his arguments be made in term of the reproduction of small businesses? industry? capital?
  • How might one investigate the relationship between neo-liberal capitalism and the apparent lack of social controls on sexuality and marriage?
  • What might be unacknowledged controls over marriage?