Friday, November 18, 2005

The Problem of the Family

Where do we get ouur ideas about family life? From God? Evolution? Natural law? Hetersexual males? Capitalists? Pop psychology garbage that's simply infected our minds?

What I want to do today is talk about some of the ideas we have about family life. Then I'll describe why there is, perhaps, a problem of family life.

See if you agree with any of these ideas about family life:

1. There is a natural form that families should take.
2. Kids need a yard to play in.
3. A married couple should establish a new household of their own.
4. The husband and wife have natural roles to carry out.
5. It isn't normal for a woman to earn more than her husband.

Where did you get the information or ideas that led to your conclusion? Was it, your parents, your church leaders, the Bible (or Torah or Quran), television? Are the ideas I cited above based on facts, logic, widely held human values? Or, are the ideas based on agreements we as a society make regarding family life, what the roles should be, what parents should do, and so forth?

What about the impacts of the many and varied ideas that we hold about family life? Consider some areas or topics where we may have ideas about family life: spending, saving, arguing, planning.

Now, because somebody needs to say it, I will say that the family has economic functions that have nothing to do with marital bliss or the raising of healthy children. In fact, these functions could be what makes family life truly important to the powers-that-be. What am I talking about!?!

Families teach kids material aspirations (house, salary, vacations, clothing), prepare kids to participate in the economic system (Schools are training for factory work, or they were.) , help control female reproductive behavior (Ever notice that cheating by men is less outragous than cheating by women?), and provide a market for many goods and services.

Our ideas about family life have costs benefits for us, and for the economic system and for social order too! I'm not sure what the order of priority here is, in regards to the functions of the various ideas and goals we learn. I'm guessing that social order comes first, then the economic system, then the psychological well-being of family members.

Next: A few words about youthful risk taking and what we can do to control it.


Post a Comment

<< Home

Find Blogs in the Blog Directory