Wednesday 12 April 2023
08.30 - 10.30
Changing Patterns in Upper Social Strata Families in Central Europe (19th to Mid-20th Centuries)
Luminita Dumanescu :
Rural Elite and Demographic Behavior at the Turn of 20th Century Transylvania
Family and Demography
Demographic theory states that fertility was high for all social classes before the demographic transition. During the transition, a significant distance was noticed between upper/middle and lower strata, since the firsts were able to control their behavior faster and more efficiently. This cleavage was even more intense between the upper ... (Show more)
Demographic theory states that fertility was high for all social classes before the demographic transition. During the transition, a significant distance was noticed between upper/middle and lower strata, since the firsts were able to control their behavior faster and more efficiently. This cleavage was even more intense between the upper urban and the lower rural social groups. Data has until now confirmed this trend only for Western Europe (see Knodel 1974 for Germany), as for the Eastern side of the continent the studies are still awaited. The development of the new digital tools - extended population databases – will certainly fill the gap in the next few years.
The availability of new extensive datasets allows us to test the theory of upper strata as vanguard of new demographic trends. The first step this paper takes is to analyze the behavior of the rural elite (as teachers, priests, notaries, civil clerks, and other officials) based on the Historical Population Database of Transylvania. The HPDT – a longitudinal database – was created in order to enable research on the population of Transylvania in the 19th and 20th centuries. The main sources of the HPDT are parish registers kept by churches, which cover the period between 1850 and 1914-20. These sources recorded the most important events in an individual life course from a demographic perspective. By providing individual-level data, the database allows for statistical analyses with advanced methods on questions that have received very little investigation from a historical perspective.
Our purpose is to extract the sample of individuals who can be included in the category of the rural elite, alongside several key variables at individual level: firstly occupation, as well as socioeconomic status, education and denomination can be also taken into consideration. Moreover, based on life course methodology and family reconstitution, the paper traces their demographic behaviour, following the main three components (nuptiality, fertility and mortality). Our preliminary findings revealed, for instance, that age of first marriage is slightly higher for the men who have completed a higher form of education, as their profession indicates. Our research thus brings into question the fertility level of these upper rural groups, their marital strategies, their networks and connections (previous studies revealed that the most influential individuals from community are more likely to act as godparents or guardians), trends in infant mortality and general mortality, all compared to general trend on Transylvania (Bolovan, 2000) and the broader context of the East-European pattern (Durães et al., 2009).
Bolovan Ioan (2000). Transilvania între Revolu?ia de la 1848 ?i Unirea din 1918. Contribu?ii demografice, , Cluj-Napoca: Centrul de Studii Transilvane.
Durães, Margarida, Antoinette Fauve-Chamoux, Lorenc Ferrer Jan Kok (eds).(2009). The Transmission of Well-being: Gendered Marriage Strategies and Inheritance Systems in Europe (17th-20th Century), Bern: Peter Lang.
Knodel, John (1974). The Decline of Fertility in Germany 1871–1939. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. (Show less)
Gábor Koloh :
Clergy Mobility in Central Hungary in the Interwar Period
The aim of my presentation is to examine the mobility of clergy in Central Hungary between the two world wars. I consider pastors as the intellectual elite of village society. I see their role in the formation of a community's outlook as crucial. Their spatial and social mobility in the ... (Show more)
The aim of my presentation is to examine the mobility of clergy in Central Hungary between the two world wars. I consider pastors as the intellectual elite of village society. I see their role in the formation of a community's outlook as crucial. Their spatial and social mobility in the period between the two wars has several conclusions. My hypothesis is that, in addition to their organically unfolding social and spatial mobility, the role of the clergymen who fled to Hungary after the First World War had a fundamental impact on the social support for Hungarian territorial revisionism.
Hungarian clerical society became steadily more open from the mid-19th to the mid-20th century. While in the mid-19th century most of the pastors came from the vicinity of their place of service, by the period between the two world wars long regional distances had become common. A similar transformation took place in the area of social mobilisation. More and more pastors with industrial and farming family backgrounds appeared in the villages of South Transdanubia.
My presentation will focus on the spatial and social mobilisation of pastors between the two world wars, in particular on its organic and unexpected developments. In the context of organic changes, I would like to discuss their antecedents. In the case of unforeseen developments, I want to look at the political and social influences and consequences that were involved.
Source, data, method
I intend to use pastoral data sheets, biographies and sematics as sources. My clergy database has also made use of available civil registration records and obituaries of pastors. In my analysis, I will also conduct a quantitative and qualitative examination of the life history.
The expected outcome of the study is that it will be possible to point to the spatial and social opening of the field between the two world wars. The wave of refugees due to the territorial annexations following the First World War had a fundamental impact on the functioning of the clergy. This unforeseen manifestation of spatial mobilisation reinforced the need for territorial revision.
The aim of this study is to shed some light on the prestige of the pastoral profession. The opening up of the field may also be behind a decline in esteem. The study aims to refute the hypothesis that the demand for territorial revision was merely a political narrative and that there was no social demand behind it. I hypothesize that the high proportion of pastors with refugee status not only led to a transformation of spatial mobilization, but also had political and mental effects. (Show less)
Irena Selisnik, Ana Cergol Paradiž :
Postwar Ljubljana: Elite Transformation after First World War
In our paper we will compare the position of prewar elite of Ljubljana before and after the First World War. Before World War I, Ljubljana was the capital of the Austrian province of Carniola and the Slovene cultural and national center. However, economically speaking, it lagged behind other developed parts ... (Show more)
In our paper we will compare the position of prewar elite of Ljubljana before and after the First World War. Before World War I, Ljubljana was the capital of the Austrian province of Carniola and the Slovene cultural and national center. However, economically speaking, it lagged behind other developed parts of the monarchy. Its provincial, peripheral status and slow pace of modernization was reflected also in the composition of its elite. According to a list of taxpayers with crossectional analysis of several different quantitative data reveal that Ljubljana's richest inhabitants from 1900 were mainly small “working proprietors” (innkeepers, salesmen, craftsmen) and individuals that worked in the public sector (government or municipal officials). At least a two thirds of them were strongly Slovene nationally oriented, a third of them were German nationally oriented, while others were probably more or less nationally indifferent (or we do not have data for determine their national orientation). As Slovenes’ political and economic capital within the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, Ljubljana gained more prominence after the war. Moreover the process of Slovenisation took over the city. The paper therefore addresses the question how the position of its prewar elite was changed from the perspective of postwar years when such changes of political system, national borders, social rights took place together with national homogenization and migration. We will there for investigate which categories of elite (administrational or economic) were most affected by postwar changes in central Europe, who were people who migrated and if gender had any role to play in this decision? How social mobility changed? Did prewar identification with Slovene or German nation movement influenced thein decision of staying in Ljubljana? What happened with political orientation of families in the city? We will try to answer these questions with an analysis of the (longitudinal) development of the lives/situation of the families (people and their direct decendats) from the »development of the situation of the prewar elite«. (Show less)
Vera Slovakova, Vlad Popovici :
Social Mobility of Members of Parliament in Bohemia and Transylvania in the Late Habsburg Monarchy
The aim of this paper is to compare social mobility of the political elites (i.e., members of Parliament) in two provinces of the Habsburg Monarchy (Bohemia and Transylvania) over three generations (mid-nineteenth to early twentieth centuries). The topic has hardly been dealt with for the late Habsburg Monarchy, even less ... (Show more)
The aim of this paper is to compare social mobility of the political elites (i.e., members of Parliament) in two provinces of the Habsburg Monarchy (Bohemia and Transylvania) over three generations (mid-nineteenth to early twentieth centuries). The topic has hardly been dealt with for the late Habsburg Monarchy, even less so in a cross-provincial comparative perspective. The research is based on two datasets hosting information on deputies and their family members, compiled from a variety of sources, ranging from parish registers and censuses, to university registries, funeral notices and newspaper announcements of vital events. The analysis is rooted in the HISCO, HISCLASS and HISCAM models, and its aim is twofold. On the one hand, it aims at answering a series of research questions focusing on the inter- and intragenerational social mobility of the members of Parliament, following an analysis of the professional titles of the deputies (before and after holding the seat) and of their close male relatives (fathers, fathers-in-law, brothers, sons, sons-in-law). On the other hand, it aims at underlining the methodological difficulties encountered when applying the HISCO-based models to upper social echelons, but also to the historical realities of East-Central Europe. (Show less)
Alice Velková :
Changes in Demographic Behaviour in Families of Elite Social Classes in 19th Century Bohemia
The aim of the paper is to discuss concrete manifestations of general changes which during the 19th century occurred in the demographic behaviour of families whose breadwinners belonged to social elites. Family circumstances have always been strongly linked to the reproductive behaviour of individuals and it is in this sphere ... (Show more)
The aim of the paper is to discuss concrete manifestations of general changes which during the 19th century occurred in the demographic behaviour of families whose breadwinners belonged to social elites. Family circumstances have always been strongly linked to the reproductive behaviour of individuals and it is in this sphere that fundamental changes, known as the demographic revolution or the first demographic transition, took place in the 19th century. These changes influenced various aspects of family life. This paper will focus on two of them - namely, the length of life in marriage and the number of children born during marriage.
Improving mortality rates, along with other factors, influenced human life expectancy, which began to gradually increase during the second half of the 19th century. As a result, marital life was also undergoing important changes. The length of time which couples spent in marriage progressively increased, leading to a drop in the share of remarriages due to widowhood. Although people were less likely to die prematurely and, as a result, the reproductive period during which children could be born in a marriage became longer, the average number of children born in a family did not increase. On the contrary, it is possible to observe that parents consciously began to limit the number of children they brought into the world. However, this process, underpinned by a change in parents’ attitudes towards their children and an emphasis on securing a good future for them, did not take hold in all social groups with the same intensity.
Literature on this topic usually considers the wealthier and more educated social classes to be the protagonists of this type of behaviour, since they had both an interest and resources to invest in their children’s future. The aim of this paper is to find out whether the changes in attitude described above can be observed in one specific group of the Czech population - namely families of senior civil servants. Given that the head of the family was a university-educated man, it is to be expected that in these families increased emphasis was placed on quality education for children. A comparison of two generations of civil servants’ families (specifically, civil servants born in 1825-1844 and 1845-1864) should answer the question of whether it is indeed possible to observe a change in family and demographic behaviour in this social stratum and to what extent these changes corresponded to general shifts that took place in 19th century Czech society.