National peculiarities of family relations
Until the middle of the XIX century, the family was considered as the original micromodel of society, social relations were derived from the family, the society itself was interpreted by researchers as a sprawling family, and as a Patriarchal family with the appropriate attributes: authoritarianism, property, subordination, etc.
Ethnography has accumulated extensive material that reflects the national characteristics of relations in the family. So, in Ancient Greece was dominated by monogamy. The families were numerous. The incest taboo was in effect. The father was the master of his wife, children, and concubines. Men enjoyed great rights. Women were severely punished for treason, but the Spartan could give his wife to any guest who asked him to do so. Children of other men remained in the family if they were healthy boys.
In Ancient Rome, monogamy was encouraged, but extramarital Affairs were widespread. According to the laws of Roman law, marriage existed solely for procreation. Great importance was attached to the wedding ceremony, extremely expensive, painted to the smallest detail. The authority of the father was exceptional, the children obeyed only him. The woman was considered part of her husband’s property.
Science has extensive information about the influence of Christianity on the institution of the family in many countries of the world. Church doctrine sanctified monogamy, sexual purity, and chastity, and anathematized polygamy and polyandry. However, in practice, the clergy did not always follow the Church’s canons. The Church extolled virginity, abstinence in widowhood, and virtuous marriage. Christian marriages with Gentiles were considered sinful. Liberal attitude to them was only in the period of early Christianity, because it was believed that with the help of marriage, a Christian can convert another stray to the true faith.
In the early days of Christianity, marriage was considered a private matter. In the future, the norm of marriage with the consent of the priest was fixed. Even a widow could not remarry without his blessing.
The Church also dictated the rules of sexual relations. In 398, the Council of Carthanes decided that the girl should keep her virginity for three days and three nights after the wedding. And only later was it allowed to have sexual intercourse on the wedding night, but only if the Church fee was paid.
Formally, Christianity recognized the spiritual equality of women and men. In reality, however, the position of women was belittled. Only a few categories of women-widows, virgins, employees in monasteries and hospitals-had authority in society, were in a privileged position.
family in Russia
In Russia, family relations became an object of study only in the middle of the XIX century.
The sources of the research were old Russian Chronicles and literary works. Historians D. N. Dubakin, M. M. Kovalevsky and others gave a deep analysis of family and marriage relations in Ancient Russia. Special attention was paid to the study of the family code “Domostroy – – a literary monument of the XVI century, published in 1849.
In the 20-50s of the XX century, research reflected trends in the development of modern family relations. Thus, P. A. Sorokin analyzed the crisis phenomena in the Soviet family: the weakening of marital, parent-child and family ties. Kinship became a less solid bond than party camaraderie. In the same period, there were works devoted to the “women’s issue”. A. M. Kollontay’s articles, for example, proclaimed the freedom of women from their husband, parents, and motherhood. The psychology and sociology of the family were declared bourgeois pseudosciences incompatible with Marxism.
Since the mid-50s, the psychology of the family began to revive, there were theories explaining the functioning of the family as a system, the motives for marriage, revealing the features of marital and parent-child relationships, the causes of family conflicts and divorces; family psychotherapy began to develop actively (Yu. a. Aleshina, A. S. Spivakovskaya, E. G. Eidemiller, etc.).
The analysis of sources allows us to trace the dynamics of the development of family relations “from Russia to Russia”. At each stage of society’s development, a certain normative model of the family prevailed, including family members with a certain status, rights and responsibilities, and normative behavior.
The normative pre-Christian model of the family included parents and children. The relationship between mother and father was either conflicted or based on the principle of “dominance–subordination”. Children were subordinate to their parents. It was characterized by a conflict of generations, the confrontation of parents and children. The distribution of roles in the family assumed the responsibility of the man for the external, natural, social environment, while the woman was more included in the internal space of the family, in the house. The status of a married person was higher than that of a single person. The woman had freedom both before marriage and in marriage, the power of men-the husband, the father – was limited. The woman had the right to divorce and could return to her parents ‘ family. Unlimited power in the family was used by the “big woman” – the wife of the father or the eldest son, as a rule, the most able-bodied and experienced woman. All the women and the younger men in the family were obliged to obey her.
With the advent of the Christian family model (XII–XIV centuries), relations between households changed. The man became the sole ruler over them, everyone was obliged to obey him, he was responsible for the family. The relationship of the spouses in a Christian marriage presupposed a clear awareness of each family member’s place. The husband as the head of the family was obliged to bear the burden of responsibility, the wife humbly took second place. She was required to do needlework, housework, and parenting and teaching children. Mother and child were somewhat isolated, left to themselves, but at the same time felt the invisible and formidable power of the father. “Bring up the child in prohibitions”, “loving the son, increase his wounds” – it is written in “Domostroy”. The main duties of children are absolute obedience, love for their parents, and care for them in old age.
In the sphere of interpersonal relations between spouses, parental roles dominated over erotic roles, the latter were not completely denied, but were recognized as insignificant. Wife had husband “onorbit”, i.e. to act in accordance with his desires.
Family pleasures, according to “Domostroyu”, include: comfort in the house, delicious food, honor and respect from neighbors; condemned fornication, profanity, anger. Condemning people who were important and respected was considered a terrible punishment for the family. Dependence on human opinion is the main feature of the national character of family relations in Russia. The social environment had to demonstrate family well-being and was strictly forbidden to disclose family secrets, i.e. there were two worlds – for themselves and for people.
The Russians, like all Eastern Slavs, for a long time dominated by a large family, which United relatives on the straight and side lines. These families included a grandfather, sons, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. Several married couples jointly owned property and ran a household. The most experienced, Mature, able-bodied man who had power over all family members managed the family. He usually had an adviser – an older woman who ran the household, but did not have the same power in the family as in the XII–XIV centuries. The position of the other women was not at all enviable – they were virtually powerless, did not inherit any property in the event of the death of their spouse.
By the XVIII century. in Russia, an individual family of two or three generations of relatives in the direct line became normative.
At the turn of the XIX–XX centuries, researchers recorded a family crisis, accompanied by deep internal contradictions. The authoritarian power of men was lost. The family has lost the functions of home production. The normative model was a nuclear family consisting of spouses and children.
In the Eastern and southern national suburbs of pre-revolutionary Russia, family life was built in accordance with Patriarchal traditions, polygamy was preserved, and the father had unlimited power over his children. In some cultures it was customary to take the bride price the bride price. Often, parents made a deal in the infancy of the bride and groom, or even before their birth. Along with this, bride kidnapping was practiced. Having stolen or bought a wife, the husband became her rightful owner. The fate of the wife was especially severe if she fell into a family where the husband already had several wives. In Muslim families, there was a certain hierarchy among the wives, generating rivalry and jealousy. Among the Eastern peoples, divorce was a man’s privilege, it was carried out very easily: the husband simply expelled the wife.
Many peoples of Siberia, the North, and the Far East have long retained remnants of the tribal system and polygamy. People were under the strong influence of the shamans.