These comments take us back to a very different era, when women historians were rare in state universities and women’s history was in its infancy. Sorting out the threads of Louise’s legacy is difficult; this is a multifaceted legacy of character and scholarship, of intellectual and personal support of those around her. In the context of emerging family history—one that began with consideration of neither women nor the poor—Tilly fought for histories including both. This was not a struggle only about inclusion, but also about writing a history that had theoretical stamina. In addition, as much as Tilly’s early work focused on women in the family setting, her legacy also lives in the study of women who leave home as well—those who exit the family economy to live on their own. Migration theory and history have become much more nuanced and sophisticated in the last two decades, almost managing to keep up with Louise’s insights in two crucial ways. The first is her understanding that people use strategies learned in their families of origin to come to grips with the challenges of new situations. The second set of fundamental insights elucidates the importance of gender and family roles, insights that have undergirded the past decade’s work on the gendered nature of migration processes. Despite the shifts in historical debate, Louise Tilly’s intellectual innovations, insights, and insistence upon theoretically meaningful work remain a model for scholars of succeeding generations, and various moments of intellectual coming-of-age.


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pp. 121-125
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