Chapter 11 - Family

Chapter 11 - Family - Chapter 11 Family: Tradition and...

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Chapter 11 Family: Tradition and Changes Crisis of the Institution - After Italy became a welfare state, the family world, a closely knit community held together by emotional attachments and material interests, ever ready to form a common front against all outsiders and to take care of its own, could not avoid being affected by all the social changes - However, the traditional Italian family has been characterized as: - extended and patriarchal - unbreakable and relatively large - largely determined by agrarian conditions - structured vertically - built on Catholic faith and values - highly suspicious of the outside world
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The New Family Structure - There is a decline in the number of marriages, an increase in illegitimate births, and a rise in the number of legal separations (A typical Italian family) (A mixed family) - Also a decline in the “extended family” (married couples with children and other relatives in the same household) - Today, because of the low birth rate and increasing longevity, families are older on the whole
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- Most changes have taken place in the last 35 years mostly because: - more women have entered the workforce - legalization of divorce (after three years of consensual legal separation) - birth control - Prolonged Family: High percentage of adult children, mostly unemployed, living with their parents even though they have a high degree of independence and developed their own network of social relations Focus of loyalty has changed from the extended family to the nuclear family ever since WWII - The trend varies from social class to social class - In property-less lower bourgeoisie, the nuclear family has long held more importance than the clan - In the upper bourgeoisie, as property gives way to income, as family managements disappear, and sons disperse to new salaried careers in other parts of Italy, big family gatherings have become less necessary for the individual’s future and security - While economic development has undoubtedly contributed to modify the family unit for a considerable part of the population, it has not caused traditional structures to disappear. Social and economic changes have not altered family values.
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“Particularism” and “Familism” - According to Banfield, the Italian familial institution has been the cause of negative social, economic, and political development of the country but he failed to address some important issues - Sydel Silverman (1968) saw the southern families’ attachment to nuclear families as an effect, not the cause, of poverty Historical Roots of “Familism” - For Italians, the causes of familism are mostly attributed to historical circumstances - The family became the epicenter of life, the only moral force
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This note was uploaded on 02/24/2010 for the course HUI 239 taught by Professor Mariomignone during the Fall '10 term at SUNY Stony Brook.

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Chapter 11 - Family - Chapter 11 Family: Tradition and...

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