Publication Date

January 1972

Journal or Book Title

Household and Family in Past Time


Balkan familial and household structure has been the subject of discussion and study for over a century, but not much attention has been paid to the specifics of size and kinship composition. If we give as a brief tentative definition of the zadruga an extended household composed of a father and his married sons and their offspring (paternal zadruga), or two or more married brothers and their children (fraternal zadruga), how many people in a given community actually lived in these types of households? What about the size of the households themselves? Much of the literature with respect to the zadruga seems to dwell on the exceptional case which is then described in detail. Such an approach, however, does not help us understand the conditions under which the majority of the people lived. In this chapter an attempt will be made to establish in a preliminary way specific data bearing on household size and composition as it existed in the nineteenth century in certain villages in central Sumadija in Serbia (Orasac, Banja, Bukovik, Kopljare, Stojnik and Topola) and one emergent market town (Arandjelovac).


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