This chapter considers the relationship between the family as a social and economic unit and the community broadly conceived. It looks at family forms and functions over time in specific contexts and focusing on particular themes such as illegitimacy, marriage and divorce, household and work. It considers the history of gendered roles within the family in different parts of Scotland and the impact this had on women and men's position in the labour market. Crucially this chapter demonstrates that the family is not ahistorical and unchanging but sensitive to social, economic and political change.
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