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ERIC Number: ED198913
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-Apr
Pages: 41
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
Positive Family Functioning.
Sussman, Marvin B.
The persistence of the nuclear family as the primary social unit in the United States and most all other societies, especially complex ones, is a fact. Values shape the definition of family, especially the "good family," and the "great debate" of this period on family failure, family corruption and the family's near demise originates in irreconcilable value stances. While the nuclear family persists, its composition and dynamics change as a consequence of the family cycle and life course transitions of its members. Presently, a most important task for family advocates is to support the development of the competencies and solidarity of family members and to remove institutional constraints that hinder the family's fulfillment of its ancient and historic mission. That mission is to provide the nurturance, emotional support, love, caring, intimacy, sharing and solidarity all human beings need in order to survive. Socialization into roles, development of interpersonal competence, and transmission of cultural and moral values have been and are today critical family functions. Middle-aged family members today also must function as entrepreneurs, as they link with bureaucracies and advocate on behalf of immediate family and other relatives. Such linkages are critical in obtaining for family members, especially the elderly, a fair share of society's options and resources. For illustrative purposes, changes in the life course of a hypothetical person are described and compared with the lives of his siblings, parents, wife and children. (Author/RH)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Research Forum on Family Issues, National Advisory Committee of the White House Conference on Families (Washington, DC, April 10-11, 1980).