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Upland Communities : Environment, Population and Social Structure in the Alps since the Sixteenth Century - Pier Paolo Viazzo

Upland Communities

Environment, Population and Social Structure in the Alps since the Sixteenth Century


Published: 24th February 1989
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This book follows the social, economic and demographic transformations of the Alpine area from the late Middle Ages. Its aim is to reassess the image of the upland community which emerges from the work of historians, geographers and social anthropologists. The book therefore deals at length with such problems as the causes and consequences of emigration and patterns of marriage and inheritance in favouring or hampering the adjustments of local populations to changing economic or ecological circumstances, and tackles the vexed question of the relative importance of cultural and environmental factors in shaping family forms and community structures. Although its foundation lies in a long period of anthropological fieldwork conducted in an Alpine community, Upland Communities relies on the methods and conceptual tools of historical demography. Combined with a long-term historical perspective, its broad comparative approach unveils an unexpected diversity in regional and spatial demographic patterns and questions a number of deep-rooted but ultimately misleading notions concerning mountain society and its alleged backwardness in the past.

List of illustrations
List of tables
List of abbreviations
Introduction: anthropology, historical demography and the study of mountain societies
Environment, population and social structure: the Alpine village as an ecosystem
Open systems, open questions
Anthropologists in the Alps
The changing demography of Alpine communities
The traditional economy and its demise
The causes and consequences of Alpine emigration
The wealth from the earth: mining and immigration
Population, resources and homeostatic regulation
The domestic domain
Upland communities
A summary of conclusions
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780521306638
ISBN-10: 0521306639
Series: Cambridge Studies in Population, Economy and Society in Past
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 344
Published: 24th February 1989
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 22.86 x 15.24  x 2.39
Weight (kg): 0.68