The families of the not too distant past were oriented along four axes. These axes were not mutually exclusive. Some overlapped, all of them enhanced each other.
People got married because of social pressure and social norms (the Social Dyad), to form a more efficient or synergetic economic unit (the Economic Dyad), in pursuit of psychosexual fulfilment (the Psychosexual Dyad), to secure a long term companionship (the Companionship Dyad). Thus, we can talk about the following four axes: Social-Economic, Emotional, Utilitarian (Rational), Private-Familial.
To illustrate how these axes were intertwined, let us consider the Emotional one. People got married because they felt very strongly about living alone. But they felt so also because of social pressures. Some of them subscribed to ideologies which promoted the family as a pillar of society, the basic cell of the national organism, a hothouse in which to breed children to empower the nation and so on. These ideologies of personal contributions to collectives had a strong emotional dimension and provided impetus to a host of behaviour patterns. The emotional investment in today's individualistic-capitalist ideologies is no smaller. Technological developments rendered past thinking obsolete and dysfunctional but did not quench Man's thirst for guidance and a worldview.
Still, as technology evolved, it became more and more disruptive in so far as families were concerned. Increased mobility, a decentralization of information sources, the transfers of the traditional functions of the family to societal and private sector establishments, the increased incidence of interactions, safer sex with lesser consequences to those who engage in it all assisted the disintegration of the traditional family. Consider the trends that affected women, for... [continues]
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