PARENTING AND SOCIETIES:
THE CIRCULAR CONNECTIONS:
With minor variations, throughout the twentieth and twenty first centuries middle class, educated and urban citizens of the cultures collectively called “the west” have been subjected to a variety of misinformation. For instance, that the economics profession had formulas and procedures that could be relied upon to fairly accurately predict, measure or even guide our economy's and citizen’s livelihoods. Successive governments on the left and right endorsed this assumption.
If you are interested in learning about “parenting” you are probably in search of how to be a “good” parent. This brings up another misinformed "western" concept; that there is only one definition of “good” human development, “good” relationships and “good” mental health. As a parent of five children and a double digit grandparent I can confidently refute both these notions. In fact I believe that these two assumptions among several others are connected not by conspiracies but by simple ignorance of certain readily available facts.
This blog has complicated but specific goals.
“The Social Sciences” is meant to be a scientific term referring to the “non-physical sciences.” To my mind there is no single body of integrated knowledge concerning humans and humanity. There are many separate (mostly randomized and digitized) spheres of investigation. There is no current sphere of knowledge that meaningfully integrates (through integrating useful vocabulary and multi-dimensional concepts) the separate social sciences.
By explaining certain processes of how family systems work to economists and governance experts, and by explaining the principles of macroeconomics, history and governance to psychotherapists we hope to promote dialog among all these fields. Between the developing individual and the multi-dimensional society is the family; and all its hidden processes. Can we study any two sides of this triangle (individual - family - society) without details of the (family) angle in the middle?
Most notably, we point to a consistent world-wide disparity between two societal types:
(1. "The West" which entails the English and Germanic speaking countries; (the northwest of Europe, North America, New Zealand and Australia)
(2. "The Rest" which entails eastern Europe, the Middle East, India, most of Africa, South America and most of Asia)
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Differences between these two groups entail significant patterns in family structure and functioning. This disparity also encompasses multiple dimensions of human experience. We point to two different gestalts (organized frameworks). Both these gestalts encompass attitudes, values, beliefs and behavior on child-rearing, personal, social, political and economic levels.
These are not random traits or values: pre-industrial societies do not address citizenship, political and economic processes the way post-industrial societies do. Pre-industrial parents do not address parenting and family issues in the way post-industrial families address them. Integrity, intimacy, marriage, and filial devotion are seen quite differently. What distinguishes group1 (eastern & southern" preindustrial, agrarian cultures) from group2 (western & northern postindustrial, urban/modernity cultures) parenting and family patterns? (Click Here)