Social History in Perspective: Family Term Paper

Pages: 3 (985 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Family and Marriage

Rather, it views marriage from the legal viewpoint of the period, and delves into why people chose to get married in medieval times, and what early cultures and laws helped contribute to medieval ideas of marriage and consent. (They were Roman, Jewish-Christian, and German.)

The "Family Life" section of the book may come closest to portraying day-to-day life in a medieval household, but its main focus is still the societal and outside forces on the members of the family. He does discuss the importance of affection and sexual relations in a marriage, and even what happens to a widow or widower. It is clear Fleming's main interest and concern throughout the book is how laws and society affected the family, rather than how individual members reacted to those laws and societal pressures.

The final section, titled "The Dissolution of Marriage and its Consequences," is perhaps one of the most disappointing in the book, because it leaves so many unanswered questions. It deals mainly with widows rather than widowers, with more heavy emphasis on how the law deals with the property left behind in broken marriages.

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A gained many insights and information on the medieval family's relationship to law and church doctrine by reading this book, but it was not what I expected when I picked it up. I expected to be reading more of how people lived in a family, with specific details that would aid someone perhaps researching medieval times for a novel or report on the actual day-to-day lives of families. Instead, the book dealt with law and society, and while it was at times interesting, it was not what I expected, and so was a let down in other areas. I grew tired of reading about the laws and their relationship to family activities. I wanted to know more about the people themselves.

Term Paper on Social History in Perspective: Family Assignment

It seems simple to tell the book was written by a man, for it concentrates on more "masculine" issues of law in society, rather than the more "feminine" actual details of the household and family life of medieval times. This might only make a difference to a reader who was expecting a book that was more about how people lived as a family rather than why they lived as a family. At the end of the book, Fleming says to those "attempting to write the history of family relations, approaching the most private and intangible of human experiences" to "always remember that what they are working with are the shadows left by real flesh and blood human beings" (Fleming, 2001, p. 127). Yet, his study of medieval English family life seems to lack some of that "real flesh and blood." It is so concerned with the how's and why's of the family, that it forgot to look deeply into the members themselves, and this seems a major oversight in such a family oriented book.

Works Cited

Fleming, Peter. (2001). Social history… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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How to Cite "Social History in Perspective: Family" Term Paper in a Bibliography:

APA Style

Social History in Perspective: Family.  (2003, March 17).  Retrieved April 12, 2021, from

MLA Format

"Social History in Perspective: Family."  17 March 2003.  Web.  12 April 2021. <>.

Chicago Style

"Social History in Perspective: Family."  March 17, 2003.  Accessed April 12, 2021.