Family in XIX century Brazil: examining the role of the patriarch in Minas Gerais

Cristiana V. Andrade, University of Cambridge

The aim of this paper is to explore the patriarchal family in nineteenth century Brazil. The historiography has shown that in the past Brazil had an unusual household structure, with a large proportion of female breadwinners, reaching nearly 50% in some regions of the country. At the same time, there was a tradition of strong patriarchs holding the power in the household. In an attempt to understand the functioning of this apparently dual society, this work will present an analysis of the "Codigos Phillipinos" (colonial right codes), the Nominative Lists of Inhabitants, and nineteenth century travelers’ reports. The study of these sources will allow a comparison between the legal norms and the social practices in this apparently contradictory society.

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Presented in Poster Session 2