Elena Crinela Holom

Patriarchal Relationships in Romanian Rural Communities in Transylvania (Second Half of the 19th Century – Early 20th Century)

Elena Crinela Holom

Article information

Volume: X Issue: 1, Pages: 37-58
Elena Crinela Holom
Babeş-Bolyai University, Centre for Population Studies, Cluj-Napoca, Romania


This research paper tackles the patriarchal relationships in the Romanian rural society in Transylvania, based on the patriarchy index developed by Siegfried Gruber and Mikołaj Szołtysek (2015). Composed of four sub-indexes (domination of men over women; domination of the elderly over the young; patrilocality; preference for sons over daughters), this model was established to answer questions regarding the intensity of this phenomenon, while also allowing for comparisons over time and between different social groups.
The index was applied to data collected during the 1869 census in the village of Telciu and to data extracted from household registers in Budeşti and Miceştii de Câmpie in 1901. The selected villages are part of the existing Bistriţa-Năsăud county (Romania). The village of Telciu had an old military tradition, while the villages of Budeşti and Miceştii de Câmpie, which were located just 17 kilometres away from one another, were in fact situated outside the old Romanian second border regiment. The villages’ ethnic structures were eminently Romanian and their inhabitants were Greek Catholics. The results of the research demonstrate that the Telciu village was more patriarchal than the other two villages analysed. In Telciu, the elder generation was dominant over the young, there was a higher rate of patrilocality and a notable preference for sons.


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The National Archives of Romania, Bistriţa-Năsăud County Directorate, Miceştii de Câmpie Greek-Catholic Parish Office, Register 39/1901-<1948>.

The National Archives of Romania, Bistriţa-Năsăud County Directorate, Telciu Greek-Catholic Parish Office, Register 48/1869, ff. 158-159.

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