Pine, Frances T.. 2018. Household. In: Hilary Callan, ed. The International Encyclopedia of Anthropology. John Wiley and Sons Ltd. ISBN 9781118924396 [Book Section]

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The household is a central analytical concept in anthropology, particularly in the areas of kinship, gender and generation, and economics. It has also been a contested category at various times and for various reasons. It is sometimes defined spatially, as a house or dwelling, sometimes functionally, as a unit of production and consumption, and sometimes socially, as a group of people, usually related by kinship (including fostering and adoption) or marriage but also sometimes including servants and lodgers who share a common hearth. In the 1970s and 1980s critiques of household models, previously seen as stable, bounded units, usually male headed and internally bound to common interests, resulted in more flexible and nuanced understandings of the elasticity of household boundaries, of the conflicts as well as the shared interests within households, of the hierarchies within them, and of the ways in which they change over time, in response to different historical and economic circumstances.

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Book Section

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domestic division of labour (household), domestic economy (household), domestic space, gender, gender and generation, generation, household, kinship, kinship and social organization, production, reproduction

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25 July 2018Published

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Date Deposited:

04 May 2018 10:45

Last Modified:

22 Mar 2019 15:24


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