Outside of work, I am a very keen family historian. It fascinates me how people lived everyday lives in past millennia and how their choices, good and bad fortune and circumstances of history led to our being today. What family history reveals is how different families, parenting and child development was in previous times, as people best organised themselves in the worlds they inhabited. The fact the family structure has a history and changes over time is something that rarely occurs to us these days, as we assume our current family structure is how family has always been. This has been somewhat enshrined by early Edwardian psychologists, whose early forays into family and parenting style laid down a highly idealized blue print of what a family unit should be. The fact that the proposed structures of bread winning father, home nurturing mother and 2.4 kids under the age of 18 was only possible fora tiny fraction of humanity at this time was somewhat lost on them. Therefore I was interested in this recent article in the Atlantic that examines how the nuclear family, which really emerged in the late fifties, may soon disappear altogether and give rise to new family structures, perhaps more reminiscent of by gone ages. To read the article click here.
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