Of Kith and Kin: A History of Families in Canada

ISBN : 9780199012169

Magda Fahrni
320 Pages
Pub date
Mar 2021
Send mail

Reviled by some radicals and progressives, a reassuring touchstone for most conservatives, the family has always been both an institution and an idea. Often a source of emotional sustenance and material support, families can also be sites of conflict and abuse. This book traces the changing forms and meanings of family in the territory that now comprises Canada, from the first contacts between Indigenous peoples and French explorers, traders, missionaries, and settlers in northeastern North America in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries to the present. It draws on the rich historiography of the family in Canada and elsewhere to provide an overview of the many, and sometimes radical, shifts in the composition and significance of family over five centuries. Of Kith and Kin explores the histories of both Indigenous and settler families in both Quebec and English Canada and draws on both French-language and English-language historiographies. Region, ethnicity, race, and social class shaped the lived experiences of families. Age and gender made a difference within families. Debates about family - who is allowed to marry and for what reasons, who shall bear children and at what moment in their life, who shall adopt and what child they might adopt, who shall inherit family property - regularly make the headlines. Understanding the variety of family forms and experiences throughout Canada's history can help to better put the present into perspective. All history includes family histories; conversely, families provide us with a fascinating lens through which to view and understand the collective choices made by the state and by civil society.


Introduction: The Writing of Family History in Canada
1 Indigenous Families and French Settler Families, 1500-1750
2 Families in British North America, 1750-1840
3 The Industrial Revolution in Canada, 1840-1889
4 Families and the State, 1840-1914
5 Two World Wars, the Great Depression, and a Mixed Social Economy of Welfare, 1914-1945
6 Thirty Glorious Years? Families and the Postwar Settlement, 1945-1975
7 Metamorphosis and Persistence: Interrogating the Nuclear Family, 1975-2005
Conclusion: Twenty-First-Century Families
Selected Works

About the author: 

Magda Fahrni is an associate professor of history at the Universite du Quebec a Montreal, where she teaches women's history, family history, and the history of twentieth-century Quebec and Canada. She is the author of Household Politics: Montreal Families and Postwar Reconstruction, which won the Clio-Quebec Prize by the Canadian Historical Association and was a finalist for the John A. Macdonald Prize of the Canadian Historical Association. She is also the co-author of Canadian Women: A History 3rd edition.

The price listed on this page is the recommended retail price for Japan. When a discount is applied, the discounted price is indicated as “Discount price”. Prices are subject to change without notice.