Polish Gentry Family of Kyiv Province in the Second Half of the 19th – Early 20th Century: General Characteristics
In the paper the author analyses some aspects of private family life of Kyiv Province gentry in the second half of the 19th – early 20th century and substantiates the impact of modernization processes in the society on the social functions of married life, bringing up children, and the role of women in the organization of personal space and family life. Under the influence of political, economic, cultural factors, the main social institution of society in the 19th century underwent a transformation of family relations.
The Polish traditional family started to give preference to new gender roles in the private and social and cultural sphere, to accept new functions of the Polish woman, to change the marital behavior pattern, and organization of free time.
The second half of the 19th century was characterized by extramarital affairs, which led to divorces and childbirths. The processes of modernization in the society, associated with the development of capitalist relations, urbanization, rising living standards had led to a change in gender roles. Women often had to run the household due to the lack of men who took part in wars, were in exile, or went off in search of a living.
As a result of modernization processes, the choice of marriage partner depended on personal initiative, and the clarification of family relations was forming throughout all married life. Cases of divorce indicate that the personal right of determining the marital status was expanded.
The life of Polish society since the second half of the 19th century was clearly divided into two spheres: the social and political life of the state and the public life of Polish society.
Personal space is an important component of social life and takes an important place in everyone’s life. The Polish family was a complicated social institution that opposed the ruling state. It was the family that was tasked with preserving national awareness. This task affected the duties of women, who not only kept the family, brought up children, organized the layout of the house, performed family daily routine tasks, but were also involved in social and economic activities.
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