Households are an enduring feature of human history. They are the building blocks of social formations in every era and at all scales: from small communities to the global economy. Like families, they “order” social relations in particular ways. But households differ from families by allowing for nonkinship members and by not presuming shared group residence. The emphasis lies, rather, in the pooling of diverse (material and nonmaterial) resources with the purpose of ensuring the continuity of the collective unit. Michael Douglass (2006, 423) deploys the term householding to underscore how “creating and sustaining a household is a continuous process of social reproduction that covers all life-cycle stages and extends beyond the family.” Global householding references the many ways in which these processes increasingly occur across national boundaries, for example, through transborder marriages, overseas education, labor migration, and war displacements. The psychological, sociocultural, economic, and political implications of these processes are extraordinarily complex and arguably involve as much as one-quarter of the world's population.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Gender Studies
- Sociology and Political Science