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Is the traditional family a modern myth?

15 March 2010 251 views One Comment

I have always assumed that mother father and children was the classical model of family which has existed since time immemorial and so, I ask, why have we decided to dismantle this model in the last generation, when it clearly works so well?

Recently, however, it has been put to me in debates that this model of family is in fact a recent development. So I thought I’d look into it.

A Brief Global History (New York: McGraw Hill, 2008) argues that it was not until the 17th and 18th century that the nuclear family became a viable social unit, and Elaine Tyler May argues [Pushing the Limits: American Women 1940-1961 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1994)] that the delevopment of what we think of as the traditional family, with father as bread-winner and mother as home-maker, did not in fact emerge until after World War 2!

The other side of the argument is best presented, I think, by the results of an acheological dig in Elau, Germany, in 2005. It was a stoneage burial site comprising 13 individuals, and genetic analysis showed them to be a mother, father, 2 children, and other close relatives. As Prof Wolfgang Haak, who analysed the results said: “By establishing the genetic links between the two adults and two children buried together in one grave, we have established the presence of the classic nuclear family in a prehistoric context in Central Europe.”

This reassures me. My belief that the traditional family has been around a long time is, after all, based in fact, and we must be the most stupid generation of all time to want to dispense with it.

Ray Barry

One Comment »

  • admin said:

    On that same debate it was repeatedly claimed that children didn’t need a nuclear family, but instead they are best raised by their village.

    This trendy, left wing pretense shows real contempt for the children they claim to be concerned about. They are more interested in pushing their ideology than doing what’s right. In fact, they will frequently ignore actual evidence if it contradicts their self-asserted world view about what is best.

    Rather than the two people who care more than anyone else for their children (the parents) raising their children together, these peoople would have us believe that ‘the state’ would always do a better job at parenting. (for the state is what they really mean by village, it’s just that village sounds so much more caring and homely).

    The evidence shows that children are best brought up by their natural parents in the vast majority of cases. There will always be exceptions, of course, and only an idiot would pretend this is not so.

    Instead of trying to deny this, these trendy idiots would do far better if they stuck to examining real evidence of what really works and push that instead of their nonsense.

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