The Dark Side of the Modern Nuclear Family Life (1)


The Nuclear Family

nuclear-family-1950R.D Laing was a n interesting figure in psychiatry. I really like what he had to say along with some other person like Edmund Leach and David Cooper. They argued that life in the nuclear family might be far from harmonious. Let me give you some examples of what they have said:

Edmund Leach claims that the decline of the extended family has isolated the nuclear family and placed emotional demands upon it which are unbearable. The inevitable result is conflict both within the nuclear family and within societies as a whole as the nuclear family creates barriers between it and the wider society breeding suspicion, fear and social conflict. Leach concludes, “Far from being the basis of the good society, the family with its narrow privacy and tawdry secrets is the source of all our discontents.”

R.D. Laing (based on his studies of families in which at least one member has been described as schizophrenic) claimed that the nuclear family grievously restricts the process of self-development and “generates both an unthinking respect for authority and an us-them mentality which contributes to harmful and dangerous distinctions between Gentile and Jew and Black and White.”

David Cooper concludes (again from studies of families in which one member has been defined as schizophrenic) that the family inhibits the development of the self and conditions its members not to accept the shared norms and values of an harmonious society but to submit to the dictates of an authoritarian, repressive capitalist one. For Cooper, writing from a Marxist perspective, “The family prepares the individual for his/her induction into the role s/he is to play in an exploitative society: the role of endlessly obedient citizen.”

Of course there are other critics of the Nuclear Family but before talking about that I would like to share with you a video. The modern nuclear family for many people nowadays or who I have met was and is a dark arena where people continuous selfish games with each other as Laing theorized. Check out this video and let me know what you think

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