chapter  I
Household Economy and Modernization: A Comparative Perspective
WithElizabeth Anne Kuznesof
Pages 9

The relationship of household and family organization to changes in the larger economy has long fascinated and baffled scholars. The rapidity of the transformation seemed to make Sao Paulo an especially good place for study of change in household organization, occupations, marriage patterns, and fertility. Household size, type of household headship, number of children, age at marriage, and presence of slaves in the household were all very different than that implied by Gilberto Freyre's model. While the household in its totality does not provide the sum of possible contributions to the household economy, or to any given member, the co-resident domestic group is generally the basic unit of production and consumption in Brazil, and certainly the most clearly defined on the individual level. The history of political economy in Latin America during modernization also reveals important differences from that of England or Europe.