HCAS People Contact Information

    Fabianinkatu 24 (P.O. Box 4)
    00014 University of Helsinki

    Tel. +358 2 941 21735



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Kersti Lust

PhD (History), University of Tartu, Estonia

Room 337


Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies
P.O. Box 4
FIN-00014 University of Helsinki

Tel +358-(0)2941 22581
Email  (AT) helsinki.fi

Research interests

  • Social history
  • Population studies
  • Family history

Current research

Class and Kinship in Nineteenth Century Rural Estonia

The main aim of the research is to discuss the relative importance of class and kin in different spheres of life in Estonia in the key period of economic and demographic change from 1840 to 1900 and to place the inner workings of rural communities in a wider historical and comparative context with Nordic countries. The project integrates history with the history of family, demography, and ethnology. Two southern Estonian communities of different size and with different socioeconomic characteristics will be studied. The main research question is in what spheres and to what extent class and kinship mattered. More specifically, it looks for the marriage strategies, labour relations, land use regimes, credit relations and support mechanisms, and conflict settlement at the communal and parish court. The project involves family reconstitution and event history analysis as well as the reconstruction of peasant life in a community on the basis of narrative sources like community court and council protocols. Identification of the kin relationships of otherwise 'anonymous' people as well as of their household and class affiliation allows analyzing the events recorded in the narrative sources in terms of class and kin.