Publication Date

October 1984

Journal or Book Title

Journal of Family History


Cyclical and linear time perspectives on family household structures are defined. They are utilized in a case study of the father-son dyad in a central Serbian village over the past 150 years. This relationship is critical to understanding the transitions in the South Slav extended family household, the zadruga. Data are based on oral recall and on vital, tax, and census records. Linear time measures include vital rates such as declining fertility and mortality as well as decreasing household size. Cyclical time measures, which have not varied in the period studied, include age at marriage and age of parent at birth of first child. All these elements are shown to affect the continued existence of extended house hold structures and condition their alteration from predominantly lateral extension including collateral kin to units of linear form emphasizing relations across three, and even four, generations. Analyzing these temporal processes is seen as a way of understanding the dynamics behind notions of stability and change in social structures.


The Journal of Family History was originally published by the National Council on Family Relations. The final, definitive version of this paper has been published online in Journal of Family History, Vol 9, Issue 3, Fall 1984 by SAGE Publications, All rights reserved. © 1984 DOI: 10.1177/036319908400900304

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