todd’s family systems and the hajnal line

a couple of weeks ago, i stuck the hajnal line on top of jayman’s map of average iqs in europe to see what would happen. nobody got hurt (i think). (~_^)

today i wondered what would happen if i tried the same thing only this time with m.g.’s terrific map of emmanuel todd’s traditional family systems of europe:

the two things that stand out to me are:

– the absolute nuclear family does not happen anywhere outside the hajnal line (in europe, anyway).
– the authoritarian (“stem”) family mostly happens within the boundaries of the hajnal line.

on that second point, there are some outliers — ireland, the southern tip of finland, some bits of slovakia and hungary — but mostly todd’s authoritarian family occurs within the hajnal line limits. (the southern tip of finland looks like the hajnal line should just be moved a bit to the north….)

i don’t know what any of this means — if it means anything — but i just thought i’d share. (^_^)

edit (see comments below):

“anglian homelands” >>

anglo-saxons in britain >>

(note: comments do not require an email. “for the townsfolk below, the day began like any other day….”)

17 Comments

  1. Ha, great minds think alike. I tried this a few months ago but never posted it; the result is here.

    Weirdly, I actually got a better visual lining up Hajnal with Todd’s farming system map (see here). (don’t laugh too hard at my sloppy line-drawing!)

    Re: the family systems, in this paper [PDF], Giuseppe Micheli (who revisits Le Play among others) argues for a three-family system in W. Europe. He lays it out on page 19. I think it’s pretty convincing. He calls them ‘Atlantic’ (absolute nuclear, roughly), ‘Latin’ (western stem, roughly–the green parts), and ‘Mediterranean’ (communal, patrilocal).

    He’s a demographer and he also goes into some really good analysis of the society-reflects-family stuff. He really gets into that green western-stem area and talks about how important it is not to confuse northern and southern Spain, northern and southern Italy, that they’re really diff. worlds.

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  2. “i don’t know what any of this means — if it means anything — but i just thought i’d share”

    I think you’re looking at the interplay of multiple filters laid on top of each other. The primary filter divides along the Catholic line which applied a kin-to-conjugal and cousin-ban pressure on the terriotory covered but not uniformly. It’s modified by the other filters.

    The second filter might be the extent of medieval manorialism – which i think at least partly mirrored the physical geography of upland or lowland pastoral regions vs lowland arable regions.

    If you imagine the manorialism filter it would have “strong-effect” circles around the lowland Atlantic regions including the Ebro and Po valleys but excluding Ireland and “weak-effect” circles around southern Italy, southern Spain, northern Scandinavia and Ireland (cattle-pastoral) with everywhere else in the middle. If the lines where manorialism was least dominant did follow that pattern then you get a good match with the internal lines from the Hajnal map that exclude southern Spain and Italy, northern Scandinavia and cattle-pastoral Ireland (and i’d guess the west of Britain also). The only region that didn’t fit the model would be the Alps.

    Other filters might involve regional factors.

    (One function of farming system / terrain differences might simply be pop. density. If you’re in a region studded with villages of say 400 people each and people marry from among any of the adjacent villages then they might be breeding from a total pop. of 4000 ish whereas in an upland or cattle-pasturing region studded with family farms of 20 people each and marriage is from among the adjacent farms then the total breeding population might only be 400 ish.)

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  3. I’m way out of my depths here, but the yellow “absolute nuclear family” system (where being an empty nester is the goal) looks like Anglo-Saxon turf from Beowulf’s day 1400 years ago: southern Norway, Denmark, bits of coastal Germany and Holland and, perhaps not fitting in the pattern, part of Breton.

    British cabinet minister David Willets wrote, taking his anthropology from Alan Macfarlane:

    “Instead, think of England as being like this for at least 750 years. We live in small families. We buy and sell houses. … Our parents expect us to leave home for paid work …You try to save up some money from your wages so that you can afford to get married. … You can choose your spouse … It takes a long time to build up some savings from your work and find the right person with whom to settle down, so marriage comes quite lately, possibly in your late twenties. ”

    http://www.vdare.com/articles/david-willetts-the-pinch-uk-cabinet-ministers-discreet-but-devastating-dissent-on-immigrati

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  4. I was looking at a new paper by Lynn showing how well his old IQ average scores correlate with recent international educational achievement like PISA and TIMSS. One country where the old IQ scores weren’t validated was Ireland, which has scored as well as Britain in educational achievement tests lately, while the old IQ tests showed a half standard deviation lag.

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  5. “I’m way out of my depths here, but the yellow “absolute nuclear family” system (where being an empty nester is the goal) looks like Anglo-Saxon turf from Beowulf’s day 1400 years ago: southern Norway, Denmark, bits of coastal Germany and Holland and, perhaps not fitting in the pattern, part of Breton.”

    it sometimes feels like there’s a kind of mtDNA tectonic system under the surface which survives no matter what and constantly resurfaces in different ways over time.

    .
    “One country where the old IQ scores weren’t validated was Ireland,”

    I wonder if that was inbreeding depression unwinding for a long time but faster in some places than others. i worked construction with a lot of Irish guys 25-ish years ago and there was definitely a normal segment and a “very rural” segment. Even if people aren’t marrying their sisters i think simply marrying local for a long time has an effect when that local population is low. I think you’d see the same thing if you tested in the hilly rural areas along the western edge of the UK.

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  6. @steve – “[T]he yellow ‘absolute nuclear family’ system (where being an empty nester is the goal) looks like Anglo-Saxon turf from Beowulf’s day 1400 years ago: southern Norway, Denmark, bits of coastal Germany and Holland and, perhaps not fitting in the pattern, part of Breton.”

    absolutely! i added a couple of maps to the post — look at how well the anglo-saxon kingdoms (eastern scotland was also settled by anglos, too, of course) in britain fit todd’s absolute nuclear family. (^_^)

    i’ve been reading about the saxons on the continent, and up until the tenth century they certainly weren’t living in nuclear family households, absolute or otherwise. it was very much an extended-family/clan society still at that point, so i don’t know exactly when — or, more interestingly, why — the shift happened. (the frisians, btw, were also very clannish until very late. i dunno what happened with the bretons — maybe something to do with the normans?)

    the why has got to do with the prevailing economic system (manorialism or not) — which is connected to the envirnoment, as g.w. points out above. medieval manorialism demanded people to live in nuclear family units, so the shift to nuclear families is connected somehow to manorialism.

    but why do some populations that went through manorialism wind up with the “absolute nuclear family” system and others the (edit:) “authoritarian family” system? and how did the frisians get to the “absolute nuclear family” system without having had any manorialism? did they just pick it up from their neighbors (maybe later during some modernization period?)? what was so special about the anglo-saxons & co. from 1400 years ago?

    inquiring minds want to know! (^_^)

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  7. @g.w. – “it sometimes feels like there’s a kind of mtDNA tectonic system under the surface which survives no matter what and constantly resurfaces in different ways over time.”

    yes, it does seem that way. (^_^)

    Reply

  8. @m.g. – “Ha, great minds think alike. I tried this a few months ago but never posted it; the result is here.”

    (^_^) you know, before i posted this, i was racking my brain** trying to remember if you had posted this already — ’cause i was thinking — it’s the sort of thing m.g. would definitely be interested in…. (^_^) i like that you highlighted the “‘western’ atomized nuclear family.” that really stands out, doesn’t it?

    @m.g. – “Weirdly, I actually got a better visual lining up Hajnal with Todd’s farming system map (see here).”

    cool! and not weird at all. i think the family structures are directly related to whatever the prevailing economic system of the day is. people do what they gotta do to survive and provide for their kids, so if that means living with everyone out to your second-cousin, so be it! if you’re forced, by circumstances, to try to make a go of it with just your spouse, well cross-fingers and try it!

    the thing is, there’s something of a lag-time before systems change, even if circumstances have changed — and it can be painful. if your mating patterns/family systems are around for a long time, then that is, i think, going to affect all sorts of genes/gene frequencies. at least it has the potential to do so, anyway. trying to bring eastern europe, for instance, into the modern, capitalist system where nuclear families work best (tell that to the chinese immigrants in san francisco!) — well, it’s not easy when they want to hang on to what they know — the community family. and it’s also maybe what they feel is right ’cause of their mating patterns and how they feel (i.e. strongly) about their extended family members.

    @m.g. – Re: the family systems, in this paper [PDF], Giuseppe Micheli (who revisits Le Play among others) argues for a three-family system in W. Europe. He lays it out on page 19. I think it’s pretty convincing. He calls them ‘Atlantic’ (absolute nuclear, roughly), ‘Latin’ (western stem, roughly–the green parts), and ‘Mediterranean’ (communal, patrilocal).

    He’s a demographer and he also goes into some really good analysis of the society-reflects-family stuff. He really gets into that green western-stem area and talks about how important it is not to confuse northern and southern Spain, northern and southern Italy, that they’re really diff. worlds.”

    oh, thanks! look forward to reading it. (^_^)
    _____

    **is it “racking my brain” or “wracking my brain”? not even the internet seems to know.

    Reply

  9. @g.w. – “I think you’re looking at the interplay of multiple filters laid on top of each other. The primary filter divides along the Catholic line which applied a kin-to-conjugal and cousin-ban pressure on the terriotory covered but not uniformly. It’s modified by the other filters.

    “The second filter might be the extent of medieval manorialism – which i think at least partly mirrored the physical geography of upland or lowland pastoral regions vs lowland arable regions.”

    hmmm. now i wanna make a map incorporating both of these systems. and ideally the lowland vs. upland topographical features should be there, too.

    this is gonna be messy. (~_^)

    edit: oh! and the ethnic groups as well. (^_^)

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  10. I see that Emmanuel Todd tended to call the absolute nuclear family the Anglo-Saxon system, although it’s not clear if he was referring to it currently or in the past.

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  11. @steve – “I see that Emmanuel Todd tended to call the absolute nuclear family the Anglo-Saxon system, although it’s not clear if he was referring to it currently or in the past.”

    yes — i even (*ahem*) mentioned that in my post on todd’s book, “The Explanation of Ideology.” (i should read my own blog more often — it’s very informative! (~_^) )

    he’s referring to the present, i think. in the chapter on nuclear families, where he contrasts the anglo-saxon absolute nuclear family with the “latin” egalitarian nuclear family, he says [pg. 103]:

    “The Anglo-Saxon world — England, the United States, Australia, New Zealand — is uniformly liberal. The Latin world displays a preference for phases of liberalism and dictatorship in quick succession….”

    my impression is that todd doesn’t really do history. in general, there’s not much time depth to what he has to say about families. he stretches things back to maybe the 1800s, but that’s about it. (although he maybe goes farther back in time in “The Invention of Europe”? not sure about that. that book is only in french, so that rules me out of reading it.)

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  12. […] In terms of culture, what we are referring to is the stinted by-product of the “Great Devil’s Bargain” of assimilation into Empire, seen as a normalizing process and a requirement for entry into First World societies currently defined as nation-states with definitive borders, the globalizing project of which requires an undoing of the local on the physical level as well as its representation in terms of memory and history. For many of our adoptive parents, this often meant giving up language and cultural markers to a degree that, if forcefully enacted on other human beings and not voluntarily on oneself, would be referred to as ethnic cleansing and/or reverse colonization. This is telling especially in terms of those you refer to as “White pholk” who, in many cases, were previously thought of as “Outsider/Other”—the Irish come readily to mind, along with your Welsh forebears—especially at the height of and in terms of their resistance to a rising or dominant yet globally speaking minority Anglo-Saxon mode/model. […]

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  13. Two ideas: 1) Because the Normans were invaders, Jus Primae Noctis was widespread at the English Manor. If all the nobility were related, everybody became related after a few generations. If everybody is a cousin in the Kingdom, how does that impact social behavior on the macro level? Interestingly enough, you might be able to test this with HAPMAP.

    2) With Repeated waves Black Death, there were lots of available land and houses. Kids move out of their parents homes when they can. For example, the failure to launch kids after the 2008 crash would have left home if the opportunity was available.

    Reply

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