Vol 1, No 1 (2004) Family in the Political Economy of Monarchic Judah — Ronald A. Simkins

FAMILY IN THE POLITICAL ECONOMY OF MONARCHIC JUDAH

Ronald A. Simkins

ABSTRACT

Family in ancient Israel was shaped by the political economy. In the domestic mode of production of early (pre-monarchic) and post-exilic Israel, the social relations of production were fellow kin, and the nuclear family was embedded within the context of a large kinship network. The monarchic state was characterised by a shift from a domestic mode of production to a mode in which the social relations of production were structured by patronage. Because kinship relations tended to undermine patron-client relations, the biblical texts produced by the state function to strengthen the conjugal, ‘nuclear’, family at the expense of the ‘extended’ family.

KEYWORDS

family; political economy; monarchic Judah

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