Family composition and remarriage in Alghero (1866-1925)

Stanislao Mazzoni, Università degli Studi di Sassari
Marco Breschi, Università degli Studi di Sassari
Massimo Esposito, Università degli Studi di Sassari
Lucia Pozzi, Università degli Studi di Sassari

Remarriage in past populations has received little attention, particularly in the Italian literature. According to the few studies published, in pre-transitional Italy, second marriage patterns were characterized by similar features in the different areas of the country, notwithstanding the great diversifications of the various socioeconomic as well as demographic contexts. Indeed there was a strong gender asymmetry and widowers were more likely to remarry than widows. These characteristics were found in sharecropping communities and even more often in mountain villages, that showed, in the case of women, a very limited access to remarriage. In Alghero - a coastal city located in North Western Sardinia - this asymmetry is less evident, since there many women celebrated a second marriage. The aim of this paper is to investigate the dynamics of this interesting phenomenon. We have reconstructed the remarriage patterns from 1866 to 1925 using civil and parish records. In particular, through a micro-analytical approach and the reconstruction of married couples life histories, we highlight the dynamics that led widowers and above all widows to face a remarriage.

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Presented in Session 62: Historical perspectives on family dynamics