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Todd rinnier Mossman MR 120 Portuguese Families The patriarchal and nuclear family traditionally served as the norm and the ideal in Portugal Until the constitution of 1976 was promulgated the father was seen as the head of the family and his wife and children were obliged to recognize his authority He in turn was obliged by law to support and protect his family While the men worked outside the home women were expected to care for the children and manage household affairs Marriage was considered permanent divorce was virtually unknown During the period of Salazars rule from 1928 to 1968 the family was even seen as the primary institution of politics voting was organized under the regime the Estado Novo New State on a family basis--only heads of households usually men but sometimes women could vote Although the nuclear and patriarchal family was the ideal the cultural patterns varied considerably depending on class status and region Upper- and middle-class families corresponded most closely to the ideal Women remained at home tending the children and rarely ventured out unaccompanied while husbands managed their businesses or followed their professions Peasant and working class families were marked by greater variation In northern Portugal for example names and property were often passed on through the mother because of the absence abroad of male heads of households for long periods The fact that women could inherit land in Portugal gave women in rural areas some independence and many of them managed their own farms took their produce to market and did much heavy work elsewhere seen as suitable for men The absence of men because of emigration meant that many women never married and also resulted in a higher rate of illegitimacy than in other Mediterranean co untries The reforms enacted after the revolution established in the civil code that men and women were equals in marriage with the same rights to make family decisions Divorce became
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