Introduction: Global comparative approaches to households and change in past societies

Lacey B. Carpenter, Anna Marie Prentiss

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


The chapters in this volume are a diverse group of case studies that address three central themes: (1) how we define and conceptualize households from an archaeological perspective, (2) the broader networks or relationships within and between households that result in supra-household organizations, and (3) how we detect and explain transformative change from a household perspective. The chapters explore the role of social ties in an archaeological definition of households and their material manifestations (e.g., the house, dwelling, or other constructed space). They discuss how the household relates to other social units, how households consolidate power and control over resources, and how these changes manifest at multiple scales. The case studies have broader implications for understanding the drivers of change, the ways households create the contexts for change, and how households serve as spaces for reaction and resistance. The contributors in this volume take a more inclusive approach to the study of sociopolitical change that can facilitate the effective use of temporal and spatial comparisons to enhance our understanding of local regional developments and the dynamics of social complexity.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationArchaeology of Households, Kinship, and Social Change
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9781000464917
ISBN (Print)9780367624194
StatePublished - Jan 1 2021


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