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date: 22 October 2018

Abstract and Keywords

This article describes the methods and frameworks that historians have been used to examine Latin American families. It goes on to sketch some of their findings, and speculate about the reasons why family has become marginalized as a category of historical inquiry. It tacks back and forth between scholarship written in the vein of family history and work that addresses such issues as domesticity and patriarchy but does not necessarily take family as its central analytic concern. If one query running through the discussion concerns the extent to which family history endures as a recognizable historiographical enterprise, a second and perhaps more trenchant question is whether it should exist as such. The article argues that family history has much to contribute to our understanding of Latin America's past and present, and concludes by identifying several areas for future inquiry.

Keywords: family, domesticity, patriarchy, historical inquiry, family history

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