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Divorce as a means of family erosion in the counties of Bihor and Sătmar (latter half of the 19th century)

Divorţul ca formă de erodare a familiei în comitatele Bihor şi Sătmar (a doua jumătate a secolului XIX)
[collection article]

Brie, Mircea

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Abstract Divorce is, irrespective of the perspective of approaching the phenomenon from the point of view of the society typology, a form of social deviance that has as effect the dilution of family image and norms. We do not discuss here of a dilution of the traditional norms concerning family, as someone might misunderstand, it is an erosion of the idea of family in general. “Family” starts to have other forms than the “official” ones. Divorce is the last step in the process of erosion and dissolution of the central axis of the family – the marital couple. Despite the fact that we have considered the divorce as the last step in this process of dissolution, we have to admit the fact that, after the divorce, considering that the old couple had children, the existence of the family does not cease, it just takes a new form. The research of the archives, preserved due to the parish notes (often duplicates), provides the opportunity of identifying the main issues at a certain epoch in the Romanian rural world concerning divorce and the act of divorcing. Our research is structured in two directions: 1. a broad one, through which we will make a quantitative analysis of the size of the phenomenon in the counties of Bihor and Satmar (by observing the particularities in the county seats) – in this way, we will try to calculate the divorce gross rate (by calculating the number of divorces at one thousand inhabitants); 2. the other direction, through a case study on the Greek-Catholic parishes of the diocese of Oradea, will pursue a rather qualitative analysis without ignoring the quantitative aspect. The choice of the Greek-Catholic parishes was made for several reasons: the first is the quality of the materials preserved; the second is the fact that the confession, unlike the Roman-Catholic one for instance, accepts the divorce, thus providing the opportunity of bringing to light the separations undoubtedly existing in the Catholic environment; the third is that we think that, by its position as compared to the two Churches (Catholic and Orthodox), the Uniate Church provides an image that is closer to the reality as shown on the level of the whole population in the region.
Keywords Romania; religious affiliation; divorce; church; nineteenth century; sociology of the family; family research
Classification Family Sociology, Sociology of Sexual Behavior
Collection Title Studii de demografie istorică (secolele XVII-XXI)
Editor Pădurean, Corneliu; Bolovan, Ioan
Conference Divorţialitate şi întreruperea căsătoriei în spaţiul românesc în secolele XVII - XX (Arad, 2006), 2006
Document language Other language
Publication Year 2010
Publisher Gutemberg Univers.
City Arad
Page/Pages p. 77-98
ISBN 978-606-8204-24-6
Status Published Version; peer reviewed
Licence Creative Commons - Attribution