Family Country Trends


Figure 1.--Here we see a large prosperous Americn famiky, we believe in the 1910s. Large families were still common, even in the cities although the size was declining as America became more urbanized. The boys are all weating Norfolk knicker suits with black long stockings. The girls wear identical dresses with light-cilored stockings.

We have begun to collect some images of families from different countries. Our initual interest ws fashion nd putting boys' fashions into perspective with both gurls' fashions as well as adult fashion. As HBC expands, we are adding more and more countrie to our family pages. We note major differences from country to country in family trends. Especially notable are differences in family trends beteen northern and southern Europe, a diffeence that has been trasferred to North and Latin (Central ahd South) America because of the varried pattern of colonization. We have less information on Asian trends. Some of the economic trends are similar to Europe, falling family sizes as a resukt of the shift from rural to urban areas. We are, however, less aware of cultural factors in Asia than in Europe. Hopefully out reders will provide insights here as we expnbd the country sections.

America, Latin

We have very limited ibformation on Latin American families ar this time. Our archive of Latin American countries is very small. This is largely an economic matter. Many Latin american countries during the 19th andearly-20th century were poor being that th photographic industry was less devloped than was the case in Eirope, This means that far fewer family portraits were taken.

Mexico

The family is an important topic in any assessment of Mexicam life. As in much of Latin America, fmily tends to transcend individual through generations. We do not yet fully understand this, but surely the region's Hispanic Catholic culture is central factor. The Spanish ruled Mexico for three centuries, but Mexico is a largely Mestizo country and thus Narive American culture has also played a role in developing the modern Mexican family. Kinship ties are a very important factoir of Mexican life. Young Mexicans are less likely than Americans to leave the home until marriage, especially the girls. One researcher reports that words used by Mexicans to describe the family reflect uniformily positive values, including: unity, children, love, home, well-being, parents, understanding, tenderness, education, happiness, and support [Salles and Tuirán] The family is where Mexicans find affection, solidarity, and care in their everyday life. This simple fact, the importance of the family, ripples through all aspect of national life, politics, economy, culture, social relarionships and much more. There are both positive and negative consequences. Families ties provide support in a country which because of a generalized economic failure, the state does not have the resources to build a safety net. But it also means that rather than making family sacrifices to ensure that children get a sound education, many children drop out of school to support the family. The basic trend affecting the Mexican family has been the migration if rural compesinos to urban areas. And the high birth rate common in rural reas has continued as families adjust to urban life.

Puerto Rico

Family images are an imkportant part of HBC. These images are interesting because they show the fashions that all members of the family wore over time. HBC has limited its analysis to boys' clothing--itself a massive undertaking. These family photographs help to put the boys clothes into better perspective, showing what girls, women, and men were wearing at the same time. The family portraits also add some cultural context as they provides clues as to the social status or occupation of the parents--until the 20th century mostly the fathers. We have very little from the 19th centyury. Puerto Rico before the arrival of the Americans was very poor, a backwater of the Soanih Empire and Spain was a backwater of Europe. We know much more about the 20th century as Ameica brought education and public health to Puerto Rico. Thececonomy languished, but was far more prosperous than under Spanish rule. Families wre of course affected by this. Family portaits provide wonderful historical records of fashion. They also offer fascinating insights into the structure of the American family.

America, North


America

Many images exist of American families. These images are interesting because they show the fashions that all members of the family wore over time. HBC has limited its analysis to boys' clothing--itself a massive undertaking. These family photographs help to put the boys clothes into better perspective, showing what girls, women, and men were weraing at the same time. The family portraits also add some cultural context as they provides clues as to the social status or occupation of the parents--until the 20th century mostly the fathers. Most of the portraits are of the privligded classes, but by the late 19th centuries falling prices at photographic studios had brought the family portrait within in the reach most American families. Thus family portaits provide wonderful historical records of fashion. They also offer fascinating insights into the structure of the American family.

Canada

HBC has decided to begin a new section with family images. This will help to put boy's fashions in a better context to see how the father, mother, and sisters were dressed. In some cases the photographs will even include the grandparents. It is interesting to see how the fashions of the other members of the family changes along with the boys. We will prganize these images by decades. We also note some differences between English and French speaking families.

Asia


Cambodia

The family is very important in Cambodin society, one of the trditionl social insitutions the Commumnit Kymer Rouge attacked. Families as in most traditional agricultural socities tend to be large and close knit. One obsrveable pattern in the photographic rcord is how even toung children care for their younger siblings. The extended family system is widespread with two or three generations living together in one household. A Cambodian houhold may include grandparents, parents, unmarried adult children (including aunts aunts and uncles), children and the in-laws. The family bond is pronounced and involves well establoshed life-long rights and obligations. [Seanglim, 1991.] The family members are expected to live in harmony. They share food and are involved in each other’s business, ssentialy the idea of privacy is absent in Cambidian family life. Deference is expected toward the older members of the family. This includes aunts and uncles with no regard as to parentage. Aunts and uncles can pldy an important role in the family, helping wih child care and discussiins of all family matters.

China

Fmily over millenia has been n important feature of Chinese life. This is something that the Communists targetted after their victory (1949). Lard owning families were suspect. Important land owners were often executed. And this taint followed their chikldren through generations. During the cultural Revolutions, chikdren were often made to denounce their parents. The one child rule has significantly affected family life. One result has been a rize of female infanticide and a population tht has an increasing nymber if boys than girls.

India

Family portrait provide useful insights as to how the entire family dressed. Many JBC images are of a single boy. It is interesting to see how boys of different ages, sisters, and parents dressed so we know what fashions were worn at the same time and how trends fluctuated over time. . It is interesting to see in India how Western abnd traditional clothing was mixed. Here we will include images of the entire family as well as just the children of the family. In our small sampeling we notice quite a few large families.

Japan

Family images are an espection interesting section of HBC. Images of families provide insights as to the clothing worn by not only boys at different times, but also the other members of the family. Thus there is a great deal of useful clothing information in these images. Family images also provide fascinating insights into life style trends, in some instances the inside of Japanese homes. Here we have just begun to collect such images, but have acquired several interesting images showing Japanese families in various decades. We now have a nimber of 20th century images. Much larger numbers of images are available for the 20th century, especially after World War I. The phiotographic record shows a remarkable remarkable transition from large families and trasitional clothing to small nuclear families and Western dress. This is essence the visual record of the transformation of a backward, agricultural society to a modern industrial nation.

Europe

We are gradually developing family sections for the various European countries. There are considerble differences between both family and fashion trends through World War II. It is oftenpossible to identify major countries, although smaller countrie are more difficult. And they are affected to various degrees by trends in the larger countries. A factor here is that until World War I, three major empires dominated most of Europe (Austria, Hermany, and Russia). And the Ottoman Empire dominated the Balkans until the mid-19th century. The imperial power affected fashions in the citie, but in the countryside more trafitional local styles often prevailed. The majpr political changes during the 20th cntury had further consequences. Of course ethnicity provides further clues. Economic and cultural factors affect family sizes and photographs over time show these trends at work. This is of course affected by our ability to archive images. We have extensive archives on the larger countries, but more limited collections on the smaller countries.

Middle-East and North Africa

We do not have much information on family life in the Middle East and North Africa. Unlike Europe ther are very few images of the vast majority pg the population in the 19th century. We do see some portraits of the Westernized population in the major cities. At this time we only have a page on Egypt, the most important of the Arab states and Palestine.

Oceania


Australia

Australia is a very new country in most regards. Aboriginee civilization is among the oldest in the world, ironically as it was the last major Old world land mass reached by man. European colonization, however, was largeky a 19th century phenomenon. Thus Australian family images span much of the country's modern history. What we see is largely British society transplanted to South Pacific Oceania. And then afyrr th turn-of-the 20th century we see Australia gradually shifting from Bitish to an independent society with its own conventions and fashions. The turning point was world War II when Austrlia played hist to American servicemen who largelyly prevented a castrotrophic Japanese invasion. Gradually American became an important cultural influence which can be seen in the family images we are collecting.

Sources

Hippel, William von. Personality and Social Psychoology Bulletin (2004).






HBC





Navigate the Boys' Historical Clothing Web Site:
[Return to the Main family page]
[Introduction] [Activities] [Biographies] [Chronology] [Clothing styles] [Countries] [Girls]
[Bibliographies] [Contributions] [FAQs] [Glossary] [Images] [Links] [Registration] [Tools]
[Boys' Clothing Home]




Created: 7:08 PM 7/11/2012
Last updated: 9:47 PM 11/8/2017