Why do wealthy families prefer classical music

Martin R. Textor: Families: Sociology, Psychology. An introduction to social professions. Freiburg: Lambertus, 2nd, ext. 1993 edition - online book




Part 1 family in transition

Family history

  • Family in the Middle Ages
  • Family in the 19th century
  • Family life around 1950
  • Development tendencies

Concepts of the family

  • The Christian family image
  • The bourgeois family picture
  • The socialist family picture

Part 2 The family in the present

Central terms

  • Communication and interaction
  • roll
  • system
  • structure

Functions of the family

  • Housekeeping
  • leisure
  • reproduction
  • Socialization and education
  • Other functions

The family cycle

  • Dating and marriage
  • The first years of marriage
  • Family with young children
  • Family with school children
  • Family with teenagers
  • The family after the children have been replaced
  • Family in old age

The family environment

  • The network
  • Family in different sociotopes

Family and the world of work

  • Working people - non-working mothers

Alternative family forms

  • Shared flats
  • Unmarried partnerships

Part 3 family problems

Marital problems and family conflicts

Changed family structures

  • Separation and divorce
  • Single parent families
  • Stepfamilies

Families with special burdens

  • Family and unemployment
  • Family and poverty
  • Large families
  • Families with disabled members
  • Families with dependent members
  • Families with alcoholic members
  • Foreign families

Families with children and adolescents with behavioral problems

Violence in the family

  • Spouse abuse
  • Violence against old family members
  • Child abuse
  • Sexual Abuse and Incest




The great importance of the family for the individual and society was recognized early on. For example, Aristotle (1969) wrote in the Nicomachean Ethics: "The friendship between man and woman seems to be based on nature. For man is by nature even more designed to be together as a couple than to be part of a state community, provided that the family is more original and is more necessary than the state and child-fathering is common to all living beings. The others, of course, limit their community to just that, but with humans it exists not only for the sake of having children, but because of the community because the tasks are differentiated from the start Man and woman. So they help each other by each contributing its own to the common. That is why the useful as well as the pleasant seems to be present in this friendship. It will also be based on virtue if they are both virtuous both have their virtues and they will rejoice in it "(VII, 14).

The family is said to be one of the oldest and most consistent forms of human coexistence, the most significant and widespread form of social group. This is due to its "biological-social dual nature" (Neidhardt): On the one hand, it meets the natural needs of humans by regulating the sexual relationship between man and woman, offering the mother protection during pregnancy, the "physiological premature birth "Man grants the" extrauterine spring "necessary for survival as a" secondary nestling "(Portmann) and enables the upbringing of the" deficient system "(Gehlen) and ensures the care of old people (in need of care). On the other hand, the family allows the social reshaping of man, his socialization and enculturation. It fulfills a multitude of functions for the individual and society, shapes the entire life of the individual in the sequence of the family of origin and generation (family cycle). However, it must also be noted that families are shaped by the social, economic and cultural conditions of the respective epoch. So they are constantly subject to structural and functional change. Historical statements about the role of the family in society therefore refer to quite different types of families.

Even today the great importance of the family is recognized by society, science and politics. According to the 1984 welfare survey, 73% of Germans rate it as a very important (and a further 24% as an important) area of ​​life - work, income, leisure time, success or belief, for example, follow far behind. Only health is considered more important (Federal Statistical Office 1985). The quality of family life is more important for subjective life satisfaction than, for example, the standard of living, the job or friendships (Schulz 1983). In a survey of 10,000 German citizens between the ages of 18 and 55 years (Bertram 1990) carried out in 1989, positive attitudes towards the family were expressed in particular. For more than 80% of those surveyed, marriage stands for security and security, for over 90% children mean a fulfilled life and the feeling of being needed. But negative aspects were also mentioned: 52% of those questioned associate marriage with giving up personal freedoms, 35% with quarrels and anger. For 72% children mean worries and problems, for 73% a limitation of professional work and for 65% that women have to forego a career. The survey results represent an assessment of the facts mentioned - of course, this does not mean that this corresponds to reality. In this context, it is also worth mentioning that a very small part of the population rejects marriage and family, e.g. prefer unmarried partnerships. In the past, too, there have been repeated negative statements about the value and function of the family.

The quality of family life has a major impact on the psychological well-being of the individual. Family stands for joy and sorrow, harmony and conflict, love and hostility, tenderness and violence. It can break or grow due to stresses such as disability, illness, need for care, addiction or unemployment of a family member. It can promote the mental health of its members or contribute to the development of mental disorders and behavioral problems. Above all, however, it affects children: The family is the first group that a person belongs to in his or her life course (primary group). In this way, it shapes the physical, cognitive, emotional, psychological and social development of children and, to a large extent, determines the basic structure of their personality. Pathogenic family influences can damage child development and lead to symptomatic behavior.

Due to the importance of the family, which is only briefly outlined here, it is essential for social pedagogues and social workers to deal intensively with scientific knowledge and practical experience about this group. In the social sector, the need to include the whole family conceptually and practically in work was recognized as early as the 1920s (Baum, Solomon). For example, Solomon wrote in her book on social diagnosis as early as 1926: "The material of the investigation includes (therefore) all facts from the life of the needy person and his family that can help to explain the particular need or social need of the person concerned to show the means of solving the difficulty ". It will always be necessary for the social worker to "study man's relationships with the environment, not only in order to understand man, but also to find remedies for the harm and difficulties that may afflict individuals in the future" ( quoted after Oswald 1988: 117).

However, under the increasing influence of individual-centered psychoanalysis on social work, this approach fell into oblivion for a long time. Especially after the establishment of family therapy - which made many social workers strive for additional training in family therapy - they found their way back to family-oriented social work. In addition, there were theoretical developments such as systems theory, the network concept and ecological family theory. It was also recognized that interpersonal structures and processes contribute to many individual and social problems, that for example family socialization leads to the continued existence of social classes or that disturbed family relationships contribute to the development of behavioral problems in children. At the same time, dissatisfaction with individual-oriented approaches in both social work and psychotherapy increased due to the low success rates. With the socio-educational family aid, a genuinely socio-educational approach was finally created at the end of the 1960s / beginning of the 1970s. But also, for example, in the General Social Service (ASD), mainly family-related social work is performed.

The aim of this book is to convey the basics necessary for working with families. Selected findings from historians, sociologists, psychologists, pedagogues, social workers and representatives of other scientific disciplines on the history of the family (Part 1), the family of the present (Part 2) and common family problems (Part 3) are presented in a condensed form. In doing so, we limit ourselves to research results and experience gained in the Federal Republic of Germany.


Part 1 family in transition

The forms of the family that we know from personal experience and observation emerged in the late 18th and 19th centuries. Even the term family - derived from the Latin word form "familia" - did not become at home in the German-speaking area until around 1700. Initially, it was used both to denote kinship and the house cooperative, whereby in the latter meaning it also included servants, apprentices, journeymen, students, etc. Previously, terms such as "gender", "clan", "woman and child" and "house" were common, but they did not exactly describe what we now call "family". It was not until after 1800, under the influence of natural law, the Enlightenment and Romanticism, that the concept of family was used more and more to denote the personal and affective relationships of individuals connected by gender community (marriage) and parenthood. This slow change of concept basically reflects the social change that spanned several centuries from the "whole house" of the Middle Ages to the various family forms of the 19th century to the family that tends to be based on partnership today.


Family history

The indicated development should now be traced. We will limit ourselves to family forms from the Middle Ages, the 19th century and the 1950s. From the comparison of the different family types it becomes clear that "family" appears in very different manifestations and is socio-culturally over-shaped. Also some development tendencies are outlined and "myths" about family types of the past are shown.

Family in the Middle Ages

The Middle Ages, which lasted around a millennium, were by no means a uniform epoch. The early Middle Ages (6th - 9th centuries) were characterized by aristocracy and manorial rule, under which most of the people lived as serfs or unfree peasants (obliged to pay in kind and compulsory labor), as servants or craftsmen. Large tracts of land, especially in the east, were reclaimed; many villages sprang up. The high Middle Ages (10th - 13th centuries), characterized by knighthood and feudalism, brought about the dissolution of the great manor, which, in connection with the advance of the monetary economy and trade, led to the issuance of property as interest goods (usually an obligation to pay a cash rent and labor). Larger cities also emerged in which craftsmen and traders lived as free citizens, with the practice of the profession being regulated by the guilds. In the late Middle Ages (14th - 15th centuries) there was the rise of free cities, the emergence of powerful trading houses and the strengthening of the bourgeoisie.

Clear relationships of authority and dependency were characteristic of the Middle Ages. As farmers, most people were dependent on a landlord who was either more caring and protective or more exploitative and arbitrary towards them. When starting a family, his subjects did not only need his consent, but he also had the right to marry any unfree man of around 18 and any girl of around 14, as well as any widow.

Apart from approved love marriages, there were such marriages against the will of the landlord; in these cases the partners or their parents had to pay fines in addition to marriage taxes in many places. At first, many landlords made use of the "jus primae noctis", which created an additional blood bond between them and the farmers, but also humiliated the latter and confirmed their dependence. The waiver of this right was later compensated for by a levy. This also had to be paid to monasteries and churches, the property of which was constantly growing.

All people were born in a certain class and remained in it for their entire life. He shaped their behavior and their way of life. There was also a hierarchical order within the respective class - for example, determined the size of the farm, where a farmer sat in the church or village inn, with whom he socialized, whom he could marry and which trousseau was expected from his future in-laws. Customs and traditions were unchallenged, strengthened the social order, shaped the actions, wishes and minds of the individual. The great uniform order of life was determined by the legacy of Germanism and antiquity, but above all by Christianity.

The Church tried to influence marriage and the family as well. First, however, she had to come to terms with the late Roman conception of a divorceable consensual marriage, the domicile or lordship marriage sovereignty and the practice of "mouth" marriage based on old Germanic law, in which all guardianship rights to a woman are from father to husband was transferred. So a couple was initially married by the guardians in front of the church gate; then the bridal mass took place in the interior. From around 1200, the priest performed the wedding in front of the church gate, while lay weddings were forbidden at the same time. However, even at that time, young people could marry without the blessing of the Church. Even weddings without a third party were valid if both partners spoke the prescribed words and stood by them. It was not until the Tridentine Council of 1563 that marriage was declared a sacrament. This gave the church act the legal meaning of the actual marriage, which was then completely relocated to the interior of the church. Thus, the ecclesiastical jurisdiction over marriage only became binding at the end of the Middle Ages. The indissolubility of marriage demanded by the church could already be enforced earlier because it complied with the prevailing practice of combining property through the rational act of marriage or the marriage policy of the nobility.

The Church's official stance on marriage and the family was in line with Paul's view. He wrote (1 Corinthians 7) that marriage was only for those who could not be celibate. Thus it was seen as something of secondary importance to celibacy, which, however, only became compulsory for priests in the 11th century. This was associated with a "demonization" of sexuality, which was seen in connection with original sin and regarded as impure. Married couples should control their sexual instinct and make their relationship chaste until they have children. On the one hand, the spiritual and moral inferiority of the woman was emphasized, who - with reference to the creation story - was seen as a seductress. The persecution of witches, who, according to the opinion of the time, became such through sexual intercourse with the devil, led to a further devaluation of women. In general, obedience and humble submission to the man as well as patient endurance of punishments were expected from her. On the other hand, devotion to Mary, the emphasis on conjugal love and the prohibition of adultery and divorce had a positive effect on the position of women.

Ultimately, however, the church failed with its ideas about marriage in the Middle Ages. On the one hand, she had to come to terms with secret marriages, as many men and women who (due to a lack of financial resources) were not able to start a family or were still allowed to live together (due to lack of consent from the landlord or the community). Second, sexuality was not privatized. Since many married not for love, but for material reasons, they sought sexual experiences in extramarital relationships. Of course, even those who were not allowed to marry did not want to forego the satisfaction of sexual needs.

Naked or half-naked bathing in bathhouses as well as prostitution organized according to guilds were common in the city, rehearsal nights and "windowing" in the country. Shameless songs were also sung and crude stories and pans were told, whereby the presence of children did not create any inhibitions.Illegitimate children were initially equal to legitimate children, but did not inherit the father's class. It was only later that they were discriminated against, especially in the city. In general, romantic love did not play as much of a role as it does today. Whether there was a special form of "courtly love" (Minne) remains an unanswered question; Minne singing, for example, is also regarded as a type of poetic expression typical of the time.

While in many cases love, passion and freedom of choice played a role in the choice of a partner, in others affection, romantic feelings and attraction were irrelevant. In the case of property owners in particular, the father determined the future spouse, occasionally using courtiers. However, some sons and daughters succeeded in defying the father's will (although the father could make use of corporal punishment) if they did not like the chosen partner. The parents were also barely able to influence remarriages, which accounted for more than a quarter of all marriages.

The decisive factor was that the social and economic status of the family was maintained or improved through the marriage. The wealth brought in by the bride or her physical health, fitness and labor often played the decisive role. In the marriage contract between the parents, benefits in kind and in cash, in the case of farmers also the use of fields and gardens or the use of the elderly part, were precisely regulated. In the case of dependent farmers and journeymen, the marriage was dependent on the consent of the landlord or guild master. This usually only took place when the man was able to take over the parental farm or a master position. In larger towns and cities, poor people often had to obtain the approval of the municipality, which was obliged to provide poor relief and therefore often forbade the marriage of people without possessions even in the case of stable relationships or in spite of having children together. If a free woman married a serf, she became the master's serf - in the opposite case, the man was usually no longer accepted as a citizen of a free city. So social advancement was not possible through marriage, only descent. For many women, the wedding meant the seamless transition from the rule of the father to that of the husband. Since aristocratic girls were often engaged at the age of eight and usually married at around the age of 14, they had almost no right of consent when their fathers chose a partner. Farmer's and artisan daughters usually got married well after they turned 20, so that they were more likely to get their way. All women were expected to do the work designated for them quickly and well, as well as many children. Initially, their social value was even based on whether they could still give birth - for example, in the Sal Franconian national law of the 6th century, the penalty for killing a woman of childbearing potential was three times as high as for a woman after the menopause. Since the wife was subordinate to the husband, the household community in the Middle Ages was characterized by a patriarchal structure that corresponded to the idea of ​​a hierarchical world order. However, women also managed to achieve a position of power within the household. But if they presumed to order their husbands around, the villagers, for example, had measures such as the Haberfelddrift at their disposal to discipline them. As a rule, however, the men determined the workforce and the behavior of other family members, servants or journeymen. The housefathers had the right to punish the other members of the "house", which many made extensive use of. Some also failed to comply with the duties of protection and care associated with their rights, but shamelessly exploited their subordinates.

Compared to the small family of the present, in the Middle Ages the "house" of farmers and craftsmen - we want to deal with these first, since almost the entire population can be assigned to these groups - was a community that often included unmarried relatives, servants, apprentices and journeymen . Its size was dependent on factors such as the size of the land holdings, inheritance law, the nature of the land or the competitive situation. Due to the high mortality rate and the late age at marriage, most households were quite small and rarely consisted of more than five people (large age differences). The members of this community mostly lived in houses with one to three rooms, one of which was shared with the cattle or used as a place of work and sales. Thus, the different genders and ages lived together in a very small space, slept several in one bed and experienced each other during the most intimate activities. Accordingly, there was no privacy - but there was also no clear demarcation from the outside: the house was always open to neighbors and relatives who were involved in all major events and, together with the rulers, the church and the guilds, had strong social control exercised. The members of the household were thus embedded in a close network of relationships in which they found emotional ties and sexual contacts. Accordingly, they did not spend Sundays and public holidays as well as their little free time at home, but in the larger community of the village or district.

In contrast to the family of today, the "house" of the Middle Ages was primarily a production facility. It served to secure the livelihood, the preservation of property, the everyday mutual help and the material supply of the old and sick. The common work and production as the purpose of the house community shaped the interpersonal relationships; the domestic interest usually came first. Thus the "house" was less a moral institution than a means of survival. It should be noted that in the Middle Ages agriculture and livestock were still underdeveloped. Although 70 to 80% of the population lived as mostly dependent farmers, the food they produced was just enough for their own and regional needs. Most of them were on the verge of subsistence wages and repeatedly suffered from starvation, because due to the low level of market integration and poor transport options, surpluses from other regions could only rarely be transported to the area affected by a bad harvest, armed conflict, etc. Even in good times, one's own needs could only be secured if all members of the "house", including the children and old people, worked six days a week from sunrise to sunset. There was free time only on Sundays and public holidays as well as during work breaks.

Thus, the functional relationships that prevailed in the "house" were more important than the emotional ones for survival under the constant threat of disease, famine, and war. Correspondingly, conjugal love was often viewed as a form of Christian neighborly love, and extramarital sexual relationships were more likely to be tolerated. The "sense of family" was less pronounced than in later centuries, although some testimonies from that time also report close emotional ties between family members. In the parent-child relationship, feelings played less of a role than they do today - but it should be borne in mind that most children died before the age of one, so that the parents had to maintain a certain psychological distance in order to protect themselves. The fact that an infant would most likely not survive the first year or two of life may also explain why the parents showed less sadness when one of their children died: It was a perfectly "normal" event. In addition, it could be expected that another child would soon take the place of the deceased, as methods of contraception were unknown. The more frequent deaths of children and mothers (especially in childbirth) also shaped the family structures: The majority of children grew up with half-siblings and step-siblings, and there were large age differences between them.

Children were seen primarily as future workers and as guarantors of the parents' pension. Their "worth" was based heavily on their utility to the production community. Accordingly, the duration of childhood was limited to the most tender age, that is, to the phase of life in which children cannot yet do without outside help. In most cases, little time was spent on their care and upbringing due to the heavy workload on their parents and a lack of awareness of parenting. Infants were often left unattended for long periods of time, and cases have been reported of being eaten by domestic pigs roaming free. As soon as children could run and use their hands, they seamlessly became adults, wore the same clothes, and shared their work. As a rule, children grew imperceptibly into their later area of ​​responsibility, as parents, servants and relatives called them on to help at an early stage. Upbringing and training took place through living together with adults. Often, however, children around the age of ten were given away to relatives or teachers whose everyday and work life they shared. They were not only trained in a profession and in domestic services - boys also had to do table service, for example - but also acquired the knowledge, customs and experience necessary to survive in medieval society. If adult and married sons stayed with their parents, tensions often arose with the fathers, who did not want to hand over the management of the household.

Life was different for aristocrats and wealthy citizens. They lived in large houses that were always open for daily visits from relatives, friends and business partners. There was a constant coming and going, since work, private life and communal entertainment did not take place in separate spheres, but almost always in the house. In it, the individual rooms were not restricted to a specific purpose, but merged into one another. Almost all rooms could be used for doing business, receiving guests, eating together or sleeping. The furniture was designed accordingly: for example, collapsible tables were set up at mealtime or beds were only set up at night. Even in the nobility and the rich bourgeoisie, the members of the "whole house" could not isolate themselves from one another or exclude a private sphere. The lives of family members were shared by servants, administrators, scribes, and apprentices who were part of a wider community. Accordingly, servants, for example, were not disregarded as in later centuries, but could count on a certain amount of sympathy and care. Younger servants, apprentices and children were in a close relationship, for example because they played with each other and often had to perform tasks similar to table service.

Family in the 19th century

The dissolution of the way of life of the "house" and the emergence of modern forms of the family in the late 18th and 19th centuries were caused by developments, some of which began as early as the 16th century. Thus the power of the church was weakened (Reformation from 1517), it came into competition with the sciences that were becoming independent (Copernicus; founding of the first universities), the ideas of antiquity (Renaissance) and philosophy (humanism). With the discovery of individuality, there was a stronger focus on the world and an emphasis on the autonomy of the personal self, the inwardly subjective, self-responsibility and love of life. The medieval order slowly dissolved, partly due to the elimination of the knighthood (Knight's War of 1522/23), the weakening of central powers and the rapid expansion of urban trade and industry. This resulted in rich patrician families in which a separation between work and household had already been introduced and the wife took on a purely representative function - a way of life that in a certain way became a model for the 19th century family. However, there were also patrician women who ran the company while their husbands were on business trips and continued to contribute to the family income. At the same time, women first became significant outside the family as mothers or lovers of kings.

At the same time, the child's position began to change, as the moralists increasingly emphasized his innocence, which was to be protected, his need for upbringing and the need for a Christian upbringing. Since children are the likeness of angels and are especially loved by Jesus Christ, adults must take responsibility for their development. These efforts were intensified in the 17th century. The moral interest in the child turned into a psychological one (slow recognition of the peculiarity of being a child); Provenance primers and treatises on upbringing have been published; The criticism of the preference given to the firstborn resulted in greater equal treatment of siblings; parents devoted themselves more to shaping the mind, spirit and body of their children. This was associated with a stronger appreciation and emotionalization of the parent-child relationship. In addition, there was an appreciation of the family by the churches, which they compared with the "family of Christ". The need for school education was also increasingly emphasized, and compulsory schooling was introduced in some small German states, although this was still often circumvented, especially in rural areas. In the 17th century, childhood was discovered as a transition phase between toddlerhood and adulthood. Family and school worked together to separate the child from adult society and defined childhood as the phase of life before leaving school.

These tendencies intensified in the 18th century, a particularly "educational" epoch (Enlightenment, philanthropists, German classicism, neo-humanism). The bourgeoisie recognized in education the way to maturity, autonomy and a rational life as well as a means to social advancement. So it tried to improve the schooling of male, and occasionally female children. This development led to ever closer relationships between parents and children and to more affective closeness, but also to moral rigor and discipline. The children should be kept away from the depraved adult world for as long as possible. The sense of family and childhood increased more or less simultaneously; the family term with its emphasis on personal and emotional aspects prevailed.

However, the parent-child relationship was not redefined, but also a new view of the marital relationship: The more intensive preoccupation with natural law - in turn an expression of the growing secularization and enlightenment - led to marriage being once again an act of the secular, civil On the right, as a conclusion of a contract made by the partner of their own free will. Self-determination and the rights of women were also emphasized in the Enlightenment. For example, Kant saw in the marriage contract a "moral institute" in which the partners freely and freely agreed to mutual possession of their gender characteristics for mutual enjoyment. This was seen as the purpose and essence of marriage - no longer, for example, the preservation and increase of property or the purposeful union of two families. The humanization of the marital relationship was intensified by romanticism, which saw the essentials in the emotional connection, in the holistic unification of man and woman as well as in the reconciliation of the opposing poles of masculine and feminine. From the demand that marriage should always be only a love marriage (Schlegel), the advocacy of a free choice of partner, the upgrading of the status of women and a greater acceptance of the physical and sexual followed. Freedom (the choice of partner) and equality (of the sexes) were also demands of the French Revolution. However, it would take many decades before these ideas finally caught on.

The 18th century was the age of the beginning of the political revolution and emancipation of the bourgeoisie, which became an ever larger group of the population. And it saw the beginning of the industrial revolution, which did not really kick in in the area of ​​the small German states until the 19th century. It led to the emergence of the working class as a new class whose life was characterized by wage dependency, ruthless exploitation, depersonalization of work (interchangeability), fixed working hours without major breaks, control and discipline. Since the industry also needed qualified skilled workers, there was soon a differentiation between skilled and unskilled workers. The latter in particular were so poorly paid that they had to rely on the help of women and children. In 1882, for example, 540,000 women and 520,000 children under the age of 14 were employed in industry; in 1907 there were already 1,560,000 women, but only 280,000 children.In the last year, an estimated 300,000 more children under the age of 14 were employed in home work (Hubbard 1983; The Federal Minister for Labor and Social Affairs 1987).

The new developments in the economy, society and school system enabled many to achieve rapid social advancement through education and entrepreneurship. In connection with urbanization, vertical mobility was combined with horizontal mobility. In 1849 there were 300 rural residents for every 100 townspeople, in 1900 only 84 (Reble 1971). The first big cities also emerged (anonymity as a new life experience). The increasing complexity and differentiation of society led to changed customs and civilization (the need for self-control, discipline, instinctual restrictions, good manners, etc.). At the same time, there were growing class differences and greater separation of living spaces. The great poverty of the unemployed and beggars - in Bavaria around 7% of the population lived from begging in 1800, there was an intensive discussion about "pauperism" around 1850, and the fourth estate, the proletariat, was increasingly seen as a threat - contrasted with this the lust for amusement, the luxurious exuberance and the elegance of the rich bourgeoisie at the turn of the century.

Furthermore, a comprehensive secular legal order has been created by the modern state. Civil marriage was introduced in general, for example in the general land law for the Prussian states of 1794. A high point of this development was the adoption of the Civil Code of 1900. Here marriage was defined as a partnership in which the man concerned about all common life Was allowed to decide matters, in principle had to provide maintenance to the woman and was able to manage her assets on her own, unless a marriage contract stipulated a different matrimonial property regulation. The woman was obliged to manage the house and possibly work in the man's business. In principle, she had full process and business capability, but the latter could be partially restricted or excluded by the man. Divorce was possible if one spouse was guilty of adultery, maliciously abandoned the other, pursued his life, seriously violated his duties, or behaved dishonorably and immorally. A man who had been declared guilty alone had to provide the woman with maintenance commensurate with his status after the divorce; in the opposite case, however, the woman only had to entertain the man when he was unable to work. In the civil code, a disadvantage of women was written down. The parent-child relationship was also regulated by the patriarchal family structure laid down in the legal provisions. On the one hand, only the father was entitled to legally represent and chastise the children, to manage their assets and to use them. In the event of disagreement between parents regarding upbringing, the law stipulates that the father's opinion prevailed. On the other hand, he was obliged to look after the children, to bring them up and to supervise them and to grant their daughters an appropriate dowry. According to the law, children had to obey their parents and work in their housekeeping and business until they reached the age of majority (at the age of 21).

These legal changes and wage labor made it possible to choose a partner freely - the consent of parents or other people was no longer necessary. However, it often took a long time until the material foundations for starting a family were in place. For example, between 1881 and 1886 the average marriage age of men in Prussia was 33.4 years for civil servants, 32.5 years in church service, 30.9 years in trade and insurance, 30.0 years in the textile industry, 29.6 years in agriculture, 28.6 years in construction, and 27.7 years in factory workers (Hubbard 1983). Due to the high age at marriage, the still high child mortality rate compared to today, and the low life expectancy, the families remained quite small. There were five to six births per married woman (tending to be more in the country than in the city), but mostly more than a third of the children died (Schlumbohm 1983). Since the average interval between births was two years due to the long breastfeeding period, the first and last-born child was often more than 10 to 15 years apart.

Due to the low income in relation to today - according to a survey by the Imperial Statistical Office, workers earned around 1,800 M annually, middle-class civil servants 2,900 M and teachers 3,300 M annually, they had to earn between 35 and 50% of their earnings for food alone (a Chicken, for example, cost 2.25M, 1 pound of beef 0.80M) (Schuhmacher 1910; Hubbard 1983). Housing conditions were also very limited, especially in the cities. For example, in 1895 in Munich around 67% of wage workers lived with their families in apartments with only one heatable room, only around 26% had two rooms available. 63% of the assistants in trade, banking and transport lived with their families in one or two-room apartments, and 84% of the workers in the trade. In contrast, more than 50% of the self-employed lived in apartments with three or more heatable rooms (Hubbard 1983).

Due to the great class differences and the highly different ways of life in the 19th century, it makes sense to roughly differentiate between four types of family. First of all, bourgeois families are to be described, the appearance of which shaped our impression of this epoch particularly strongly. Then characteristics of noble, working-class and peasant families will be presented.

The 19th century bourgeoisie was not a homogeneous group: it comprised the old patrician class, merchants, academics, civil servants, officers and wealthy artisans. Only a part of these groups of people lived without financial worries and material restrictions, for example they could afford large apartments and servants. Nevertheless, their way of life became the model and standard for most of the population. The bourgeois culture was characterized by a high esteem for education, conservative ideas (especially towards the end of the 19th century) and the humanistic ideals of the true, the good and the beautiful. The citizens addressed each other by titles and official titles; the form of address "you" prevailed. Authority thinking paired with belief in progress.

The gender-specific division of labor was characteristic of the bourgeois family. The man usually worked outside the home and was solely responsible for the family income. The woman was no longer integrated into the economic system based on the division of labor in the house community typical until the middle of the 19th century, lost her productive tasks and became more dependent on the man. She was also excluded from the professional world. Their function was reduced to the duties of housewife and mother. In poor middle-class families she looked after the household, kept the family income together through economical management and often had to keep an expense book that was checked regularly by the husband. In richer families women became a lady and passed the day supervising the servants and with genteel idleness. The house staff no longer took part in family life, but was referred to side rooms and only called over the doorbell when needed. The great differences in education, the formation of class-specific norms, the growing arrogance of class and the increasing disregard for physical work justified and symbolized the growing differences in status. The bourgeois family also no longer felt obliged to provide care, as servants received an employment contract and became wage earners.

The determination of the woman to be wife, housewife and mother was explained by biological differences and justified with "scientific" research results about her mental and moral inferiority. She was expected to be primarily concerned with the personal well-being of family members, especially the husband, and to be subservient to them, meek, loving, tender and weak. While on the one hand the marital love relationship was idealized, on the other hand the subject of "sexuality" was taboo. So the spouses did not show each other naked. In addition, a well-behaved woman was expected not to look at her bare body: for example, she had to throw sawdust on the water while bathing. The tabooing of sexuality was also promoted by science, which warned against too frequent sexual intercourse and against masturbation. The downside of this behavior was not only the double moral of the men, which was evident in visiting brothels and buying luxury pornographic items, but also the lack of sexual satisfaction of both partners.

In the second half of the 19th century the number of bourgeois women who were dissatisfied with their role tended to increase. They felt discriminated against because housework and raising children were seen only as a service of love - something that was unproductive and worthless (money became the measure of all things). In addition, as educators, they were increasingly competing with the school. Many women devoted themselves to self-exploration, tried to break out of their unsatisfactory situation as writers, poets or painters, or joined the growing women's movement. This also contributed to the fact that girls "from better circles" received a more comprehensive school education, were able to attend university and were allowed to take up certain professions - especially in the educational and social sectors.

Most women, however, used their energies to design the home and create an emotional family atmosphere. The apartments took on a different shape than in previous centuries: most of the rooms were only accessible from a corridor, so they no longer merged into one another. In this way, they enabled individual family members to withdraw and isolate themselves. The exclusion of a private sphere was further promoted by the fact that, unlike in the past, the rooms were now dedicated: there were bedrooms and children's rooms, the cleaning room and salon, the master's room and separate rooms for the staff. The apartment has been tastefully decorated; For example, the floors were covered with carpets, the living room was furnished with a sofa, flower tables, showcases (with fine porcelain) and side tables (with knickknacks), and a secretary, pianoforte or grand piano was a splendid salon. At the same time, this domestic idyll was increasingly shielded from the outside world. There were only certain days of reception, visits were only made by invitation or by appointment, and personal contacts were replaced by letters. The demarcation of social, professional and private life took place at the expense of family, friendly and neighborly contacts - but this development was partially offset by the emergence of coffee houses, regulars' tables, clubs and circles as places of interpersonal contact. At the same time, the privacy so typical of the bourgeois family encouraged the development of close emotional ties, the development of domestic intimacy, and a sense and identity of the family. Family members spent more time together; the twilight hour was used for chatting and telling fairy tales; At the weekend they went on trips together, visited cafes or visited museums. The divergence between the (emotional) family world and the outside world (characterized by competition, rationality and materialism) was recognized as a paradox by only a few contemporaries.

In the bourgeois family, bringing up children was of particular importance. In infant care, she was the first to take into account the criticism of nurses and changing diapers put forward by doctors and educators. She was also the first to recognize the importance of schools and universities. The parents discussed questions of upbringing together, read relevant magazine articles with interest and bought standard works on pedagogy. Although the parenting task was primarily assigned to the mother, since she was predestined for this activity because of the highly respected motherly love held for an elementary female instinct, more and more fathers took on educational functions. In this way the nursery became a place of comprehensive education and moral influence. With love and severity (corporal punishment was accepted by society) the parents tried to induce their children to control their desires, to behave civilly, to be polite, willing to learn, order, cleanliness and obedience. There was no sexual education; the establishment of children's rooms also led to isolation from parental sexuality. Masturbation was severely punished and attempts were made to prevent it by being tied up.

Due to the limitation of the number of births, the high material investments (school fees) and the emotional attachment, children became irreplaceable. Parents were more concerned about their health and well-being, turned to them with love and enjoyed being with them. They began to play with them, invented anonymous gifts such as St. Nicholas and the Easter Bunny, and designed Christmas and Easter to be children's parties. In the 19th century, special clothing for children prevailed, children's books and fairy tales flourished, and the mass production of toys began - although around 1900 an estimated 75 to 80% of all children still had no toys. Even if forms of address such as "mother" and diminutive emerged, there was still a certain distance between parents and children compared to today. As a rule, the former had to be addressed as "you".

Upbringing in the bourgeois family was strongly gender-specific. Since the destiny of women was marriage, girls initially only attended school for a few years; later high schools, boarding schools and schools for "higher daughters" gained in importance. In general, the upbringing was geared towards ensuring that the girl could run a household, do difficult handicrafts, sweeten the man's life and shine in society with education, French conversation and talents such as piano playing and singing. If a daughter was of marriageable age, the parents had extensive social intercourse (tea dances, house balls) in order to introduce them to suitable young men. Often marriages were still arranged, whereby - apart from loveless money marriages - great value was placed on the daughter's opinion. If the income of the chosen one was not yet secured, there were long engagement periods. Just as a married woman was safe from divorce, a betrothed woman could rely on the man's word, as the dissolution of a marriage or engagement was socially outlawed. At the beginning of the 19th century, unmarried women stayed with their parents or relatives or moved into a women's monastery. Only later did employment become common and acceptable in such cases.

The life of the nobles in the country was determined in the late 18th and early 19th centuries by their position as landlords. So they drew a substantial part of their income from the services and taxes of the peasants. They also represented power, superiority and wealth towards them. Even when they took part in village or church festivals, they always kept a noble distance. Even small children of aristocrats stood out from the village youth through their clothing and stately manners. The nobility exercised a large part of state power in the city. He influenced the estates, occupied the highest positions in administration and the army, and surrounded emperors and kings at court. One's own social position was lavishly represented; the lavish representation often led to impoverishment as a result. In addition, the customs in the city were freer, there was more licentiousness than in the country. However, great importance was also attached to cultivated manners, body control and a refined lifestyle in the city.

The noble families remained patriarchal in the 19th century. The man was in charge of the house and could expect absolute obedience from the woman, children, and servants. It represented a long family tradition, the importance of which was symbolized, for example, by the ancestral gallery and which was brought to life again and again by telling the deeds of great ancestors. So the individual was a link in a long chain of people and gained part of his identity from it. He was proud of his family's place in regional history and usually wanted to do them all credit. The noble woman was on the one hand mistress of the house and the servants, on the other hand she was clearly subordinate to the husband. The parents had a great influence on their daughter's choice of partner; if they could not give her an adequate dowry, she might end up in a women's monastery at the age of ten or twelve. If a woman remained unmarried, she held a particularly low place in society.

The children were subordinate to their parents; mostly strict obedience was required of them. As a rule, they were brought up by private tutors, governesses and court masters, as their parents could not look after them much. Therefore, they often did not know the needs, worries and needs of their children.The children were trained in the lordly way of life right from the start, with learning through example and imitation playing a major role. So they learned to command from an early age, as they were always surrounded by eager staff. Dancing, horse riding, hunting and fencing were of great importance in their upbringing as they formed part of the aristocratic way of life. Knowledge transfer, on the other hand, was considered less important; the nobleman should not be trained to be a bourgeois scholar. Little emphasis was placed on an in-depth specialist study in the event that the son of a nobleman should attend university. However, a "cavalier tour" was recommended, during which he visited foreign courts, improved knowledge and manners there and established important relationships. In general, the young nobleman learned to take on the tasks intended for him by performing them under the guidance of his father and imitating him. Gender-specific socialization was very pronounced in the aristocracy. Less emphasis was placed on the upbringing of the girls.

Similar to the bourgeoisie, there were also different types of families in the working class, which was partly due to the different incomes. In this shift, however, it was much less common for the man to exclusively take on the role of breadwinner and the woman to take on the tasks of housekeeping and child-rearing. Home workers in particular had to rely on women and children to survive. This occupational field emerged with the expansion of the publishing system in the 18th century and gained in importance mainly in rural regions with real division in the line of succession. Because of inheritance law, there were many small farms here whose income was no longer sufficient for a family to livelihood. The publishers offered these families the opportunity to earn additional income by supplying raw materials and tools and purchasing the end products.

Initially, individual parts for the textile industry were made, later mainly wooden objects and toys. Due to the increasing competition from industrial mass production and the consequent decline in incomes, the working and living conditions of homeworker families deteriorated in the course of the 19th and early 20th centuries. In the end, all family members were forced to work 12 to 16 hours a day, including Sundays - often in unsanitary conditions, surrounded by unpleasant fumes and smells. In addition, they usually only had one or two rooms in their small dwellings, so that they worked, slept, cooked and ate in the same room. The diet was sometimes very poor and consisted almost exclusively of potatoes, unless they also looked after a small farm on the side.

Nevertheless, working from home gave many dispossessed people the opportunity to start and support their own families. Since young men and women earned their own income, they were no longer dependent on their parents' consent when choosing a partner, they could marry earlier and make love the decisive criterion of their choice. Due to their greater independence and independence, they often lived apart from their parents after marriage, so that three-generation families were rarely found in this population group. Household and workplace often still formed a unit; There was no rigid gender-specific division of labor, as the family members carried out similar activities. Accordingly, the husband also had less authority than in the bourgeois or peasant family. Since the children were drawn in early on, there was little time left for upbringing and teaching.

In the first half of the 19th century, industrial workers were mostly recruited from men and women from rural regions with inheritance rights who were not entitled to inheritance (there was only one farm heir). They spent 12 to 14 hours a day at work, only had Sundays off (in some cases at the beginning of the century but not even on this day), and were exposed to noise, stench, heat and the harassment of their superiors. They also lived in constant concern about their jobs; Dismissal, accident, illness or death were catastrophes that led some families into poverty and misery. Due to the low income of their husbands, but also occasionally because of their drunkenness, many women had to work as factory workers, domestic workers, washerwomen or home workers. For example, a survey of 1,253 mothers carried out by Otto in Upper Bavaria in 1899 (based on Hubbard 1983) revealed that 496 worked in the factory because the man earned too little, 317 because he did not contribute to the household, 219 in order to be able to live better, 120 to save money or pay off debts, 95 to support family members - only six were employed for no compelling reason. The wages did not serve the emancipation or self-realization of women, but were indispensable for the survival of the family. Most women were exploited as cheap labor and lived in constant fear of pregnancy and illness. Unmarried women often had illegitimate children - and, like them, had to endure discrimination and stigmatization.

It is obvious that under these conditions work and family life could hardly be reconciled and little time was left for children. Infants were quickly weaned and then looked after by larger siblings, who often also had to run the household. Thus, contrary to the general trend, infant mortality increased in industrial conurbations, it was dependent on the social position of the parents: For example, in the textile city of Augsburg from 1871 to 1873, 65% of factory workers' children died in the first year of life compared to 43% of children from the rest of the population ( after Peikert 1982). In addition, smaller children were often neglected and often only saw their parents on Sundays. For example, Otto's survey mentioned above also showed that in 1899 924 children of the factory workers questioned were cared for by relatives (often grandparents living in the house), 571 by strangers and 553 in institutions; 27 were left unsupervised. Older children played on the streets for hours or organized themselves into gangs. The danger from neglect led to the fact that more and more child care institutions, toddler schools and kindergartens were established, which were often established by a foundation and often relied on donations for their maintenance. Many children also had to work in factories for up to 12 hours - employment for children under nine years of age, for example, was only banned in Prussia in 1839 and in Bavaria a year later. Child labor only declined after 1871, when the increasing mechanization of industry made auxiliary workers largely unnecessary.

The standard of living of working-class families depended on the education and occupation of the man, the labor market situation, the number of people in employment and the size of the family. One pole of the spectrum was made up of well-to-do families who lived in apartments with several rooms and in which the mothers could stay at home and look after the children in accordance with the bourgeois family ideal (spread through school, magazines and opinion also in the lower classes). The other pole was made up of poor families who had lost their breadwinner due to illness, accident or death and who lived in one-room apartments or damp basements. Often they still had to take in sub-tenants or bed-walkers in order to be able to pay the rents, which were increased due to the housing shortage and speculation. The excessive confinement and the lack of a private sphere easily led to tension and aggressiveness, the unsanitary conditions and the one-sided diet to consumption and deficiency diseases. But even under these conditions, couples were found with a stable and stable family life, as the constant threat to their existence often led to solidarity within the family. In addition, labor marriages were usually love marriages, as the parents had no say in choosing a partner due to the young people's financial independence and the lack of funds for a dowry. In many cases, women held a strong position in the family, as they contributed to the family income and also managed it. The situation of working-class families only improved towards the end of the 19th century due to general economic growth and social legislation (1883 health insurance, 1884 accident insurance, 1889 invalidity and old age insurance, 1891 labor protection law).

With farming families, but also with small craftsmen, the structures of the medieval "house" persisted into the 20th century. At the beginning of the last century, great changes brought about the liberation of the peasants from manorial rule and secularization - for example, in Kurbayern the church had previously ruled over 56% of total land ownership and over half of all under-dependent families (Ohe 1985). A negative consequence of the peasant liberation was the heavy indebtedness of many farms. There were also large regional differences in the standard of living and in the economic system in accordance with inheritance law. While in areas with real division farm sizes arose that no longer allowed a family to survive, large farms were preserved in regions with inheritance rights. While the farmer with his sons and servants was responsible for field work and cattle, the farmer with daughters and maids for the house, stable and garden, a gender-specific division of labor could hardly be realized on small farms.

A large part of the (large) farmers lived in multi-generational families, which continued to form a production and supply community. They were structured patriarchally; Control over the farm and thus over the livelihood gave the father great power. Adult children also remained dependent on him until the farm was handed over and often had to wait until then to marry. It is obvious that this has often led to great tensions between the generations. With the handover of the farm, the parents switched to old age, whereby the obligations of the younger generation were precisely defined in the handover contract, which was often drafted by a notary. Such agreements suggest that emotional ties were of less importance in peasant families than in the bourgeoisie. After taking over the farm, the inheriting farmer had to pay off his siblings under inheritance law, which meant a major financial obligation for him. This was partly covered by his wife's dowry - so when choosing a partner, rational criteria such as dowry, property and ability to work were still important. However, younger unmarried siblings now stayed on the farm less often, but often looked for wage work in the city. Many also emigrated to America or Australia.

Infants were breastfed for one to two years and longer and swaddled into the 20th century. Often even small children were sent out to pasture with the shepherds; By the age of eight, children had to look after goats or sheep themselves. Especially at the beginning of the 19th century, when compulsory schooling was not yet enforced in rural areas, they only attended school insofar as the work allowed them time. Accordingly, they could only acquire a low level of schooling. As in the Middle Ages, children continued to be seen primarily as workers. They either worked on their parents' farm or - if it was too small - were given to other farmsteads as servants, day laborers or the like, sometimes even auctioned off as herding boys. In many cases, they were given a certain amount of work, whereby strict care was taken to ensure that they did it. If they did not live up to their parents' expectations, they would face severe corporal punishment. But once the children had done the tasks assigned to them, they could romp around, do handicrafts and play in the homestead, in the forest or in the meadows without any significant control from their parents. Most of the time, they had to make their own toys because their parents didn't spend any money on such things. Due to a lack of time, they rarely took part in games and leisure activities, so that upbringing was also characterized by a certain neglect (in addition to harshness and severity). The children were there when adults told stories and pans, sang or celebrated. You shared their lives completely, for example you did not have to leave the room for certain topics of conversation. Upbringing took place indirectly through learning from a model and working on the farm. In doing so, the children achieved an astonishing versatility, as the farm production was largely subsistence-based (little available cash) and thus very different activities were carried out on the farms. Through work and play, the children also "imperceptibly" grew into the social structure of the village and acquired the prevailing norms, attitudes and models.

Family life around 1950

In the Third Reich, the image of the family was primarily shaped by National Socialist ideology. The family and mother cult was expressed in the form of strong, undemanding women who prepare their dear husbands a cozy home and are surrounded by a crowd of happy children. However, the employment rate among women increased, but these were excluded from higher positions. In order to accelerate the multiplication of the master race and to be able to satisfy the desire for expansion, an expensive birth promotion was operated. Nevertheless, there was a decline in the average number of children in the Third Reich, as apartments, for example, were scarce and often too small. In the population and race policy the cultivation of the best racial elements was aimed: The German people should be bred to the Nordic type (blond, tall, long-headed, narrow face). Healthy bodies, toughening, willpower and determination were educational goals. The ideological training - partly also the physical training - served National Socialist associations such as the German Jungvolk and the Jungmädels, the Hitler Youth and the Association of German Girls, the Reich Labor Service and the branches of the NSDAP. Since this ultimately quite short period of time is not very fruitful for comparison with the present and for working out development tendencies, we want to limit ourselves to these statements and now turn to the post-war period. While farming families hardly suffered hardship during this time, but to a large extent even benefited from the townspeople's hamster trips, bombed out and refugees lived in poor emergency quarters, in ruins or as billeted in the undamaged apartments in the suburbs and surrounding villages. There was seldom more than one room per family. Heating material, food and clothing were scarce. Children and young people had to look for dry wood and pine cones in nearby forests, which were then burned in cannon ovens. In many cases the food consisted only of dry bread and gruel; many young children and old people died of malnutrition. Garments were made by themselves, which had to be improvised: for example, curtains were turned into summer dresses, and civilian suits were made from uniforms. The sharp separation between the social classes that characterized the late 19th and early 20th centuries was also lost.

Family and relatives temporarily took on more functions that had apparently been lost in the past few decades. They stood together, looked after bombed-out, orphaned and elderly family members, made furniture and clothing for one another, and provided one another with vegetables that were grown among the ruins. In addition, the family offered the people the only support and thus experienced a new appreciation. With great difficulty, she also managed to keep the emotional damage in the children and adolescents who grew up at an early age relatively small. However, many family associations were torn apart by flight and evacuation, the search for work and inadequate living conditions. Due to the large amount of forced mobility, many people also felt little rooted and homeless. In addition, many families lacked the men who were either dead or missing or who were emaciated until the 1950s and who returned from captivity alienated from their relatives (children). At home, the returnees expected mostly unemployment, but also due to the high surplus of women - eight women came for five men - a large selection of possible partners. So-called "uncle marriages" often arose in which there was no marriage, for example because the woman did not want to lose her war widow's pension or her first husband was still missing.

After the currency reform (1948) and the establishment of the Federal Republic of Germany (1949), there was a rapid economic upswing in the years that followed. Nevertheless, the unemployment rate remained high for the time being and there was still a great housing shortage. In the early 1950s, for example, a third of all families with children in Frankfurt sublet.The material situation of most families was also bad: According to a survey of 808 households, a working-class family earned 3,920 DM and a salaried employee 4,681 DM per year in 1950/51 (according to Hubbard 1983). Similar to the 19th century, over 40% of income still had to be spent on food.

While the average household size in the German Reich in 1871 was 4.6 people, in 1950 it was only 3.1 in the Federal Republic of Germany. Three- or four-generation families were often found in the countryside (for example, they made up 45% of families in a village near Marburg and 42% in the Darmstadt hinterland), while they became increasingly rare in the city. Also, only around 15% of the population worked in agriculture and forestry; urbanization and the further differentiation of society continued. While in 1871 63% of the population lived in municipalities with fewer than 2,000 inhabitants and only 6% in large cities, the corresponding figures for 1953 were 27 and 29% (all data from Mayntz 1955). These developments had been accelerated by the influx of displaced people and refugees.

In the 1950s, the parents' right to have a say in the choice of partners for their children continued to decline, especially since, due to their material situation, they were less able to exert influence through a dowry or the promise of financial benefits. A trousseau was soon common again. Usually the age difference between the partners was small and they got married relatively early - but usually after an engagement period. Since unmarried women were much more independent than in the 19th century and often employed, they got to know their future spouses less through the mediation of parents and relatives, but more in their job, club or circle of friends. Since both sides were mostly financially independent, psychological motives such as romantic love, spiritual agreement or the need for security and happiness played a decisive role in the choice of partner. But other reasons were also important: According to a survey of around 70 married couples, around 40% married because of pregnancy, 20% because only married couples were allocated accommodation, and 18% because they had a strong desire to have children (Nave-Herz 1984).

Premarital sexual relationships were no longer prohibited as they were in the 19th century: In the early 1950s, 71% of the population accepted sexual intercourse between unmarried people. Thanks to new scientific knowledge, secularization and progressive emancipation, sexuality was generally more open and free: 58% of the population needed it for their personal happiness (survey results from Mayntz 1955).

At the beginning of the 1950s, around half of the couples stayed in the same household as their parents or other relatives because of the lack of housing after they got married, mostly for longer than a year. Usually they only had a bedroom of their own. Correspondingly, only about half of all couples had a complete home furnishings, which, however, rarely included expensive items such as gas or electric stoves (Nave-Herz 1984). So it is not surprising that marriage was often seen as a community of interests, an alliance for the struggle for life or an association in which material desires and goals were of great importance. Although it was common for women to give up their jobs when they got married or gave birth to a child, around 26% remained gainfully employed (Mayntz 1955). According to a survey of 872 mothers carried out by Pfeil (after Hubbard 1983) in 1956/57, however, only 26% worked out of livelihood. During their absence, 53% of the small children were supervised by relatives, 13% in other households and 21% in crèches or kindergartens. In large cities around 20% of the students were already "key children".

Especially the older men returning from the war pushed back into their earlier patriarchal roles. Most of the time, however, they encountered great resistance from women, on whom the Second World War and the post-war period had in no way forced an independence that was in no way below the male role: They first had to replace the men drafted by the Wehrmacht in industry, trade and administration, so they were employed become. In the post-war period they largely ensured the survival of their families in the post-war period and worked as rubble women in the reconstruction of the cities. The men returning from war and captivity were usually initially unemployed. The women had made these experiences self-confidently and left them with the traditional "natural" primacy of men in questions. Around 1950 Wurzbacher examined 150 families and found that almost three quarters recognized the fundamental equality of the partners, while Baumert in the survey of 387 families in the Darmstadt area only had a quarter with a patriarchal, but already a quarter with a family structure based on partnership found (after Mayntz 1955). Many women also administered the family income.

However, these changing attitudes have not yet affected the domestic division of labor. The women, including working mothers, continued to be responsible for household chores and child-rearing. They received little help from the men and sometimes suffered from overwork - especially when work and family activities had to be reconciled. However, since these circumstances were taken for granted and were only questioned by a few, most women appeared to be satisfied with their situation and did not address or issue them in discussions with their partner. According to a survey, around 85% of adults were satisfied with their marriage (according to Mayntz 1955). But the number of divorces also rose: while in 1912/14 there were only 2.6 per 10,000 inhabitants, in 1950 it was already 15.7. In addition, the influence of kinship on the family was less than in previous centuries, although it was considered more important than it is today. In general, married couples had a smaller circle of friends and acquaintances (usually fewer than ten people at the beginning of the marriage), met with them less often and spent more time at home than today (Nave-Herz 1984).

In the 1950s, many married couples set the number of children they would have in advance. Indeed, these were increasingly seen as an economic burden. In addition, the need for a good education and schooling was generally recognized, as professional knowledge and skills had proven to be the only captive possessions in the post-war period. When a child was born, in contrast to today, the father was rarely present. The presence of an infant also led to less serious changes, for example in the daily rhythm of the family, and the toddler was not experienced as a burden. However, there was also a reduction in external contacts and an increased domesticity of women (Nave-Herz 1984).

In general, the parents were less child-oriented than they are today. Their children had more room for development, more freedom and more rights of co-determination (for example in choosing playmates, determining family activities) than they did at the end of the 19th century. In addition, the relationship of trust and emotional ties between parents and children were more pronounced, the former responded more to the latter and were almost always willing to talk to them. A partnership-based upbringing style and a comradely friendly tone were becoming more and more popular. However, the parents also began to become more insecure, as they could no longer orientate themselves to clear norms (pluralism of values), were confronted with contradicting recommendations from educators and were repeatedly pointed out by psychologists (psychoanalysis) that child development could be endangered by errors in upbringing. In addition, they had to deal more and more with "secret co-educators".

In addition to magazines, radio, cinema and later also television, young people of the same age gained a great deal of influence: A youth culture of its own with certain models, music preferences, dress codes and behavior patterns emerged - a phenomenon that probably first appeared at the beginning of the 20th century (for example Youth movement). In general, young people wanted to be self-sufficient, independent and undisturbed in the presence of friends. With girls it became more and more a matter of course that they learned a profession after finishing school. The associated social recognition, the reward for personal achievements, the constant spiritual stimulation and the new social experiences led to young women becoming more independent and self-confident and increasingly insisting on equal rights towards men of the same age.

Development tendencies

In this part we would like to - taking up the content of the previous chapters and referring to the present - discuss some important developments of the past centuries, which on the one hand led to the family forms known to us from our own experience and observation and on the other hand to the multitude of possible forms of "family." " refer. In doing so, we would also like to break some prejudices about the past. For example, it is often assumed that premarital intercourse used to be an exception due to social and church norms and sanctions, but also due to a lack of contraceptives. When we looked at family life in the Middle Ages, however, we found that premarital and extramarital sexual experiences were tolerated and common at that time.

The number of illegitimate births gives an indication of the extent of illegitimate sexual intercourse in the 19th and early 20th centuries. In Bavaria, for example, 196 of 1,000 births were born out of wedlock in 1816/20, 208 in 1851/55, 127 in 1901/05 and 123 in 1951/55, while in 1986 there were only 9 out of 1,000 births. In the middle of the 19th century around 13%, around the turn of the century almost 20% and around 1930 around 38% of children were subsequently legitimized (Hubbard 1983). It should also be borne in mind that the wife was often married during pregnancy, even in the 1950s, so this was one of the most important reasons for marriage.

Finally, it must be taken into account in this context that in the past many illegitimate children were also aborted, although this was punishable with very few exceptions: For example, Stoeckel estimated in his "Textbook of Obstetrics", the eighth edition of which appeared in Jena in 1945, the number of abortions (to 1,000 live and stillborn babies) for the years 1890 to about 100, for 1912 to about 200 to 250, for 1927 to about 330 and for 1930 to about 500 (according to Hubbard 1983). This is a conservative estimate; other authors assume higher numbers. In 1984, 148 children were aborted for every 1,000 births in the Federal Republic of Germany.

So while premarital intercourse was quite common in the past, only sanctioned to varying degrees in different epochs (which of course also had an impact on the social position of illegitimate children), the freedom of choosing a partner is a new achievement for almost everyone. For one thing, almost everyone today has the financial prerequisites to start a family. There are also no more marriage bans based on social position or material situation. For example, instead of the narrow majority of the adult population, around 80% have been married at least once. The marriage rates in the various social classes have converged. On the other hand, the influence of parents and relatives on the choice of partner has decreased significantly. While this was previously determined by class, class consciousness, property and family resolution, today it is free and individual, affection and love are the decisive criteria. The importance of denomination has also declined sharply: For example, in Bavaria, a country with a Catholic majority (only a little more than 25% of all Bavarians are Protestant), in 1871/72 there were only 5.5%, but in 1986 already 34.1% of all marriages are denominationally mixed (according to Hubbard 1983). The average age at marriage has dropped somewhat this century; class-specific differences have become smaller.

There was generally no birth control until the end of the 19th century. It was primarily through his sexual behavior that men determined the number of pregnancies his wife would have. However, since children made an ever smaller contribution to the household due to compulsory schooling and increasingly resulted in costs, and since their survival was increasingly guaranteed due to medical progress, their function as breadwinners for sick or old parents increasingly dwindled due to the expansion of the welfare state, and above all the influence The Catholic Church decreased (which forbade a marital union of men and women for the sake of lust), after 1875 different measures and forms of birth control became more and more common. This can be seen on the one hand in the number of live births per year (to 1,000 people): In Bavaria, for example, it fell from 40.1 live births in 1871/75 and 24.1 live births in 1921/25 to 11 , 1 live birth in 1986 (after Hubbard 1983). On the other hand, the importance of contraception becomes clear from the population development, which hardly increased in the first half of the 20th century. However, the emergence of modern contraceptive methods also led women to control their own bodies - one of the preconditions for their emancipation.

The idea that in the 19th and previous centuries, due to a lack of birth control, high birth rates and the coexistence of several generations, the type of the extended family predominated and that small families were a result of industrialization, has proven to be wrong on the basis of scientific findings. The number of live births used to be higher (see above) and more children were born per marriage. The average number of live births per marriage (after 20 years) for those born in 1899 and earlier was 4.9 children (Prussia) and for those born in 1910 it was still 3.0 children (Prussia), but for those born in 1920 only in 2.3 children (German Empire) (Hubbard 1983). At the same time, however, maternal and child mortality were also very high. In Bavaria, for example, out of 1,000 live births in the first year of life, 302 children died in 1832/35, 240 children in 1901/05 and 50 children in 1951/55, while in 1976/80 there were only 14 children ( Hubbard 1983).

The maternal and child mortality, which must be seen in connection with a high number of miscarriages and stillbirths as well as primitive abortions, led not only to great instability of families, to a large number of stepfamilies and to great age differences between the siblings, but also to a family size for which the term "extended family" does not apply. In Bavaria, for example, the average household size in 1818, 1852 and 1871 was 4.6 people, rose briefly to 4.7 people in 1900 and then decreased to 4.3 people in 1925, 3.2 people in 1950 and 1980 2.6 people (Hubbard 1983). It should also be borne in mind that, for example, in rural regions of Bavaria at the beginning of the 19th century, the marriage age of the groom was over 28 years and that of the bride was 27 years (Ohe 1985), so due to the low life expectancy and the earlier onset of menopause were only available for procreation for about 15 years. This also explains why multigenerational families were relatively rare.

In the past, people from outside the family lived and worked in many households, which must be taken into account when comparing household sizes from different centuries. In 1882, for example, 1,282,414 servants lived in the employer's house in the German Empire; In 1925 there were 1,016,022 and in 1939 still 995,117 people. In 1950, a little more than 600,000 servants lived in the Federal Republic of Germany, but only 160,000 servants lived with their employer in 1980 (Hubbard 1983). While servants were still living in 20% of households in Bavaria in 1910 and sub-tenants or sleepers in just under 11%, this only applied to around 1.5% of all households in 1970 (loc. Cit.). In the past, there were only larger households with the owners of large farms, aristocrats, wealthy merchants and successful craftsmen, and later also with higher officials. In general, however, small families and incomplete families predominated in the past. If you look over the last few centuries, you cannot speak of a transition from large families to small families. However, there has been a sharp increase in the number of people living alone over the past few decades.

The outsourcing of relatives and non-family members from one's own household, mobility, urbanization with the greater anonymity of the urban way of life, the separation of family and work as well as individualism and secularization have led to more independence and autonomy of the family today. It is less controlled by relatives, neighborhood, church and community.The family members were thus released from traditional ties and can now determine their own curriculum vitae and design it individually (individualization). At the same time, however, they have to deal with the multitude of competing values, models and norms. The behavior control and practice was partly taken over by institutions such as schools, youth welfare offices or the police; Aid to relatives and neighbors has in many cases been replaced by social services. The educational system, workplace and circle of friends also play a greater role in the integration of the individual into society. The thesis that these developments led to the isolation of the family and a lack of support from networks finds little support today.

The divorce rate has risen sharply in the past few decades. In Bavaria, for example, there were 6 divorces for every 1,000 marriages in 1836/40 and 1881/85, but already 50 divorces in 1921/25, 133 divorces in 1946/50 and 274 divorces in 1986 ( see Hubbard 1983).

In this context, it should be noted that unresolved marriages now exist for more than twice as long as 100 years ago, that earlier about the same number of marriages ended due to the premature death of a partner as today due to divorces and that accordingly there were also a large number of Single parents and step families existed. Of course, the low divorce rate in the past is not an indication of a better quality of the marital relationship. For example, love and emotionality used to play a smaller role, there were fewer expectations of the partnership, and extramarital relationships were common.

In the past few decades, there has also been a trend away from patriarchal families towards more family relationships based on partnership. Since relationships are no longer defined by clear norms and models, they have to be negotiated and individually designed. The husband and father no longer have the authority they used to, no longer represent the family alone and less determine the behavior of its members. Women have become more independent, more independent and more emancipated. They are also employed more often. In 1882 29.2%, in 1933 35.5% and in 1988 38.8% of all employed persons were female (cf. Hubbard 1983). Accordingly, the social position of a woman is assessed less and less according to her origin and the occupation of her husband, but - as with men - according to her education, income and success.

But it is not only the job outside the home that distinguishes the biography of today's (married) woman from her résumé in past centuries. Increasing life expectancy also plays a major role. In this context, it is crucial, on the one hand, that almost all women today can expect a long period of age, whereby they have to spend more time than before without their spouse. On the other hand, due to the much lower birth rate, the time between marriage and menopause is no longer filled with multiple pregnancies and maternal responsibilities. By the time women reach the age of 35, the children have usually long since started school. Then the mothers have to decide how they want to spend the next two and a half decades up to retirement age. The roles of women and mothers have therefore developed apart in the past few decades; women have gained around 40 years of more freedom and independence than before.