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The Collapse Of The Nuclear Family. What Kind Of Relationship Awaits Us In The Future? - Relationships, Society
The Collapse Of The Nuclear Family. What Kind Of Relationship Awaits Us In The Future? - Relationships, Society

Video: The Collapse Of The Nuclear Family. What Kind Of Relationship Awaits Us In The Future? - Relationships, Society

Video: The Collapse Of The Nuclear Family. What Kind Of Relationship Awaits Us In The Future? - Relationships, Society
Video: Theories About Family & Marriage: Crash Course Sociology #37 2023, March

The year was 2219 … Space oilman Ivanov, having said goodbye to his six wives and two husbands on Mars, went on a long trip to the planet ZX001002 outside the solar system. At the cosmodrome of the planet ZX001002 he was already met by his corporate wife, selected in advance with the help of the galactic computer service Cybersvata

Without postponing the matter indefinitely, they went straight from the cosmodrome to the babitorium - a kind of genetic store, where you can order an embryo of an unborn child with the characteristics necessary for parents. On the way, however, they argued a little whether the child would be raised by a robot nanny or sent to a children's commune under the Corporation. As a result, it was agreed that the family-community would raise the child, after which each of them parted on their own business, deciding that they would meet in the virtual at least once a week.

Here I will probably stop. The purpose of this article is not to compose another space opera from the distant future, but to study the tendencies of family development in the modern world.

Functions of the "social unit"

The so-called nuclear family is the norm for our society. The nuclear family is the basic “cell of society” consisting of two parents (mom and dad) and children. The family has many functions: economic, household, social status, reproductive, educational, socialization function, sexual, emotional, etc.

The following functions are primarily associated with children in the family: reproductive (a child is born in a family), educational (parents take care of the child, create all the conditions necessary for growth and development), socialization function (parents pass on social norms and rules to the child, role models of behavior, form the child's personal history and life path).

If any of the functions of the family are insufficiently realized (or not at all), this creates a threat to the existence of the family. If the household function is not implemented (the "nest" is not cozy enough), then a situation may well arise when "the family boat crashed into everyday life." If one of the partners is infertile, and the other dreams of children, this can also cause the family to break up. If one "sits on the neck" of the other (the economic function is insufficient), this is also a reason for breaking off relations.

Family functions are needed, on the one hand, to meet the needs of society, and on the other hand, to meet the needs of the family members themselves.

The clamps crack

The family as a social project (“cell of society”) is initially a way of survival for both an individual and society as a whole. Spouses combine efforts and resources (labor, finances, a roof over their heads, household), and this gives reliable protection not only to them, but also to their offspring. It turns out that the family is a kind of "immune response" of society in response to external threats and general social instability. The more unfavorable the world we live in, the more obvious threats to our survival, the higher the need of society for a traditional "cell".

Sociologists confirm that the institution of the traditional (nuclear) family suffers most of all in economically developed countries, where the risks associated with survival are minimal. As a result, we get modern forms of "family": singlets (singles who marry virtual partners or fundamentally reject marriage); childfree marriage / relationship; same-sex marriage; freelaw communes (cohabitation of a group of heterosexual partners); single-parent families (child + one parent), guest marriages (a child with one of the parents, but mom and dad live in different cities or even countries and rarely meet).

Why create a family at all, if the consumer society offers a variety of ways to meet family needs outside the family?

If you can easily and simply survive alone, why take responsibility and obligations, linking your fate with another person for a long time? To work in the field, a peasant needed the help of both his wife and children, but does a modern programmer or manager need it?

A couple of centuries ago, sex outside of marriage was almost impossible, but today free relationships are quite acceptable. The satisfaction of family needs exclusively within the family was preserved, perhaps, only in the “third world”. In India, Pakistan, Ethiopia, we can observe "ideal" nuclear families (dad, mom and five to seven children) and the satisfaction of all basic needs within the family.

But a stable marriage and a large number of children is just a guarantee of the survival and normal socialization of at least one of the children born in unfavorable conditions, as well as the parents themselves in old age. If people from these countries emigrate to more prosperous ones, already in the second or third generation their families from traditional ones very quickly transform into “modern” ones

The traditional family is a system that has both an upper and a lower limit for its existence. The upper limit is overcome in prosperous societies, where all the needs that previously could only be met in the family can be easily and simply realized in alternative ways. The lower limit is overcome when society finds itself in crisis demographic situations. There is no need to look far for an example - take, for example, the USSR after the Great Patriotic War.

Transformation of values. What kind of relationship awaits us in the future?

In what direction is the institution of the family developing? Will the traditional (nuclear) family survive in 100-200 years? Science fiction writer William Gibson once correctly noted: “The future has already arrived. It's just unevenly distributed. " He can be answered that the past has not gone anywhere either. And it is also unevenly distributed.

I am sure that for the Russian hinterland the problem of survival will be relevant for a long time - and it will not be easy to solve it without reliable support from a friendly and strong traditional family. But residents of megalopolises can quite afford to play in the future and build family relationships in a more modern format.

If you go back to the beginning of the article, then my "cosmoopera" is just a reworking of the ideas of the futurologist Alvin Toffler. At the end of the 20th century, Toffler predicted that the following transformations of the institution of the family are possible in the future:

  1. The emergence of open and mixed polygamous marriages (that is, polygamy / polyandry, and the composition of partners can freely change). However, no one prohibits traditional monogamous marriages; they will simply be one of the possible forms of family.
  2. Temporary marriages at the place of work / residence. The idea is not new; in different historical eras and in different societies, the institution of concubine already existed. That is, society gave permission for short-term relationships of the type of family in some special circumstances (for example, soldiers on a campaign; merchants on a journey, etc.). It is assumed that such a temporary relationship will become the norm and / or will be legalized.
  3. Selection of marriage partners remotely using various technologies (information, medical, etc.) that predict maximum compatibility or the desired "consumer experience".
  4. "Babitoriums" are genetic engineering centers that simulate a "baby to order" (moreover, the embryo can be carried not only by the mother herself, but also "in a test tube", that is, with the help of an artificial uterus).
  5. According to futurologists, most people are unlikely to give up close relationships with a loved one, choosing instead robots / virtual spouses. But the wider use of robots for the implementation of individual functions of the family (for example, household; for the simplest care of a small child; as a family teacher / doctor, etc.) is possible in the near future.
  6. "Children's communes" - when children are brought up together in large or small groups with the help of professional "parents" or educators - an old idea (developed in the USSR since the time of AS Makarenko). Nevertheless, it is Western futurists who return to it, assuming that young parents will value freedom and self-realization most of all, so the state, corporations or "specially trained people" will take care of children best.
  7. Family-community - according to one of the forecasts, the response to the excessive individualism of the consumer society may be a return to the traditional "extended family", when grandparents and other relatives live with mom, dad and children. This type of relationship was characteristic of primitive tribes, when almost all members of the tribe were in some kind of kinship.
  8. In general, the family will become more mobile. For a traditional family, living together and regular personal communication is important. It is assumed that in the future, the time when spouses live separately and communicate remotely (using the latest means of communication that create a "presence effect") will prevail.

The nuclear family will continue for many centuries to come. Technology will evolve and social relationships will change, creating new types of families.

The progress of any system occurs due to the increase in the internal diversity of its elements. This means that each of us will have more and more opportunities to choose exactly the type of family relationship that will make us (and those close to us) happier.

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