Satomi Kurosu

Satomi Kurosu is Professor of Sociology at Reitaku University, Japan.

  • Similarity in Difference

    Similarity in Difference

    Marriage in Europe and Asia, 1700-1900

    Christer Lundh and Satomi Kurosu

    A study of marriage in preindustrial Europe and Asia that goes beyond the Malthusian East–West dichotomy to find variation within regions and commonality across regions.

    Since Malthus, an East–West dichotomy has been used to characterize marriage behavior in Asia and Europe. Marriages in Asia were said to be early and universal, in Europe late and non-universal. In Europe, marriages were supposed to be the result of individual choices but, in Asia, decided by families and communities. This book challenges this binary taxonomy of marriage patterns and family systems. Drawing on richer and more nuanced data, the authors compare the interpretations based on aggregate demographic patterns with studies of individual actions in local populations. Doing so, they are able to analyze simultaneously the influence on marriage decisions of individual demographic features, socioeconomic status and composition of the household, and local conditions, and the interactions of these variables. They find differences between East and West but also variation within regions and commonality across regions.

    The book studies local populations in Sweden, Belgium, Italy, Japan, and China. Rather than a simple comparison of aggregate marriage patterns, it examines marriage outcomes and determinants of local populations in different countries using similar data and methods. The authors first present the results of comparative analyses of first marriage and remarriage and then offer chapters each of which is devoted to the results from a specific country. Similarity in Difference is the third in a prizewinning series on the demographic history of Eurasia, following Life under Pressure (2004) and Prudence and Pressure (2009), both published by the MIT Press.

    • Hardcover $53.00 £41.00

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  • Prudence and Pressure

    Prudence and Pressure

    Reproduction and Human Agency in Europe and Asia, 1700-1900

    Noriko O. Tsuya, Feng Wang, George Alter, and James Z. Lee

    A study of human reproduction and social organization in preindustrial communities that reveals important similarities between Europe and Asia.

    This pioneering study reconceptualizes the impact of social organizations, economic conditions, and human agency on human reproduction in preindustrial communities in Europe and Asia. Unlike previous studies, in which Asia is measured by European standards, Prudence and Pressure develops a Eurasian perspective.

    Drawing on rich new data and the tools of event-history analysis, the authors challenge the accepted Eurocentric Malthusian view that attributes “prudence” (smaller families due to late marriage) to the preindustrial West and “pressure” (high mortality due to overpopulation) to the East, showing instead important similarities between Europe and Asia in human motivation and population behavior.

    The authors analyze age, gender, family and household, kinship, social class and power, religion, culture, and economic resources in order to compare reproductive strategies and outcomes. They reveal underlying similarities between East and West in two major components of the reproductive regime—marriage and childbearing—and offer evidence showing that preindustrial reproduction was motivated and governed by human agency at least as much as by human biology.

    Prudence and Pressure is part of a large-scale interdisciplinary effort to use new data and methods to re-examine the Malthusian paradigm of population growth. It represents a significant advance in the fields of historical demography, history, and sociology.

    • Hardcover $42.00 £33.00