Debate and Discussion

How do close family ties?
kyupol at 4:17PM, Oct. 25, 2006
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What are the conditions that need to exist in a society so that families will be more tightly knit?

Why is it that most of the non-North American and non-Western Europe world have that in their societies? South Americans, Africans, Arabs, Asians, Eastern Europeans, etc…

Why is it that their families (stereotypically speaking) are just so damn huge and seem to get along pretty nicely?

Is it because of money? North America and Western Europe are the richest nations of the world. Is it because of genetic makeup? Religion? what?
NOW UPDATING!!!
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:25PM
Rich at 4:39PM, Oct. 25, 2006
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I wouldn't know. All my family does is fight over stupid shit. Of course, it doesn't help that my dad is an asshole, my brother is friggin' emo, and my step-mom is utterly retarded.

My guess would be cultural reasons or some stupid shit like that. The US has a 60% divorce rate last I checked, and every divorce leads to families being split up. That doesn't help much either.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:06PM
BigFishComic at 4:47PM, Oct. 25, 2006
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one theory on the rising divorce rate is that people have higher standards for what a marriage should be nowadays so there are less marriages that meet these higher standards which leads to higher divorce rates.

…and to some extend money does have something to do with it but not completely. Poorer families do rely more on family and friends to care for their children and to generally help each other out when they're down because they wouldn't really survive without it.

If you look historically, maybe the move in the 1950s towards the nuclear family disconnected a lot of aspiring middle class white folks from their extended family and so after a few generations, they just didn't know their extended relatives anymore?

or I guess maybe the idea that most white parents have that once their kid turns about 18 they should become independent and move out whereas most asian families want their children to continue living with them until they get married, or even later?

I dunno, I've mostly got generalities and very vague statements.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:22AM
ozoneocean at 4:50PM, Oct. 25, 2006
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kyupol
Is it because of money? North America and Western Europe are the richest nations of the world. Is it because of genetic makeup? Religion? what?
None of those things. It's just a cultural difference. Times have changed for those countries. Once it was the norm pretty much everywhere to have huge, close-knit families. It was probably the last two world wars and subsequent events that changed this. Western European countries like Itally and Spain were once renowned for their huge families! But things have changed even there.
I can give no simple answer to your question, because the causes are too nebulous and complex, all I can tell you is that none of your suggestions are right: Spain and Itally are quite Catholic, The US is the most religious out of all countries in the developed world, not all of Western Europe is wealthy (although you could argue this in relative grounds with poorer nations), and it would be impossible for genetics to be any sort of a factor; since people are just far too mixed, tend not to be goverened by simple instinct, and all of them had big families anyway not that long ago.

-And what Big Fish said :)
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:24PM
Inkmonkey at 4:58PM, Oct. 25, 2006
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Yeah, I think BigFish has given the best “simple” answer to the question, but there are mitigating circumstances on each individual case.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:59PM
skoolmunkee at 6:35AM, Oct. 26, 2006
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Actually, families were never very close-knit in the US, unless you count poorer immigrant families and things. New families always wanted independence and their own land so they could support themselves. People didn't live as long so there wasn't a need for elder care, etc. - most grandparents lived with their children and grandchildren for not too long before they died, exchanging room and board for babysitting and housekeeping duties, etc. People only grew very old unless they were wealthy, in which case, they didn't need to rely on their families.

What HAS gone since those days is the sense of community. As families grow more independent and can afford assistive services like daycare, etc., they don't need their neighbors as much and start to value their privacy more. It's true that neighborhoods just aren't the same now that you're grown up as they were when you were a kid.

There's a book about the history of family and its culture in the US from a sociological point of view that's pretty good: The Way We Never Were. I haven't read it in years but I remember it was really interesting.
  IT'S OLD BATMAN
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:39PM
BigFishComic at 2:37PM, Oct. 26, 2006
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skoolmunkee
There's a book about the history of family and its culture in the US from a sociological point of view that's pretty good: The Way We Never Were. I haven't read it in years but I remember it was really interesting.

haha, I'm reading the newer version, The Way we Really Are, by Stephanie Coontz right now. It is very interesting and sort of shatters certain family perceptions, such as the idea of men as historically instrumental breadwinners and mothers as nurturing…stuff like that.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:22AM
skoolmunkee at 2:46AM, Oct. 27, 2006
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haha, I'm reading the newer version, The Way we Really Are, by Stephanie Coontz right now. It is very interesting and sort of shatters certain family perceptions, such as the idea of men as historically instrumental breadwinners and mothers as nurturing…stuff like that.

Awesome, hello book buddy :) I didn't know there was another one, I'll have to look for it.
  IT'S OLD BATMAN
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:39PM
ccs1989 at 11:38AM, Oct. 28, 2006
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Problem: Divorce

Solution: Stop caring so much about image, and care more about personality before you marry someone.

Also the problem we have in this country about everyone being so involved with their own problems. No one wants to get together with their extended family because it's “too much trouble”.
http://ccs1989.deviantart.com

“If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.”
-Henry David Thoreau, Walden
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:38AM
Jillers at 1:11PM, Oct. 28, 2006
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Cultural differences and just about everything else said.

And it can't be blamed on diveorce alone - there are plenty of divorced familes who stay on good terms for the sake of the children.

Besides that, there are actully a lot of people who get together with their extended familes on a fairly consistant basis - when they can. Besides being one of those families, I'm friend with a bunch of people like that - people whose families extend back to the mayflower, and people (like me) whose families are pretty recent to America (one side I'm 2nd generation, the other I'm 3rd).

But, a big thing that has to do with the whole “can't be bothered” notion of not visiotng families is that everyone's so busy with work or something. I mean kids are constantly doing something school related, or some sort of something their parents make them do, and parents are constantly working - there are parents who never get a break - have the kids and their jobs, and don't get to get away on the weekends, so they have their kids take lessons or something.

I think that's the biggest issue personally.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:08PM
Tantz Aerine at 9:10AM, Oct. 29, 2006
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kyupol
What are the conditions that need to exist in a society so that families will be more tightly knit?

Why is it that their families (stereotypically speaking) are just so damn huge and seem to get along pretty nicely?




They most certainly do NOT get along pretty nicely. My mother, who is a family psychologist can attest to that anyday. But what they do, is they abide to culture and upbringing that attaches a social stigma to not appearing close knit to others. Even in the days of clans, there were all sorts of problems and feuds between clan members (I talk about big kin groups, like in Sicily) but the internal strife remained more clandestine than the strife with other clans- and when compared, the fight with the other clan always got priority over the internal strife. So there you go.

To have a family that gets along nicely, you don't need anything but love, perseverence and a dogged decision to make it work from the majority of the people- and that's a dire requirement that is not necessarily stable over time.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:06PM
kyupol at 9:05PM, Oct. 29, 2006
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Tantz Aerine
They most certainly do NOT get along pretty nicely. My mother, who is a family psychologist can attest to that anyday. But what they do, is they abide to culture and upbringing that attaches a social stigma to not appearing close knit to others.



Thanks for the explanation. Its because I feel like shit cuz I think I'm not a stereotypical Filipino with a stereotypically tightly knit family.

My family appears stable on the outside but in reality its as unstable as the middle east and shit might hit the fan anytime (tho I'm prepared for a worst case scenario). :(
NOW UPDATING!!!
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:25PM
subcultured at 11:33PM, Oct. 29, 2006
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i blame the media for portraying "perfect' families that is hard or even impossible to aspire to
J
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:00PM
Tantz Aerine at 2:12AM, Oct. 30, 2006
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kyupol
Thanks for the explanation. Its because I feel like shit cuz I think I'm not a stereotypical Filipino with a stereotypically tightly knit family.

My family appears stable on the outside but in reality its as unstable as the middle east and shit might hit the fan anytime (tho I'm prepared for a worst case scenario). :(

You are most welcome. I have to also suggest to you to feel a little better about your family. If shit is ready to hit the fan, it might mean that people in your family are still trying to make it work, to find the way to achieve a calmer way of communication and peace with each other (even if they are not doing it in a way that will actually help them achieve this…). It does not mean that your family is not close knit (fighting is a way of communicating, too- not a good way, but still, a way).

It is worse if there is a cold detachment and emotionlessness. Then, I would get really worried.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:06PM
BigFishComic at 5:22PM, Oct. 31, 2006
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It is worse if there is a cold detachment and emotionlessness. Then, I would get really worried.


…that's MY family and I actually think it works pretty well. At least it's always quiet.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:22AM
Tantz Aerine at 3:49AM, Nov. 1, 2006
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BigFishComic

…that's MY family and I actually think it works pretty well. At least it's always quiet.


Assuming we mean the same thing, then if it works for you, great! It's what you and your family need to get through life. (as in, if you like the situation, it's what suits you)
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:06PM
Black_Kitty at 10:11PM, Nov. 2, 2006
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or I guess maybe the idea that most white parents have that once their kid turns about 18 they should become independent and move out whereas most asian families want their children to continue living with them until they get married, or even later?

I don't really have an exact set of years for this but traditionally, Chinese families live together. Long time ago, it was quite common for the whole family to live together in the family home. This included aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. There is also the concept of filial duty and piety.

Nowadays it's a bit more fragmented but there isn't this sense of “you have to move out and prove your independence” in Chinese culture. My aunt and grandmother live together and I suspect that if I tried to move, my mother would move with me. It doesn't mean I can't move away, my parents do accept that life is unpredictable. But if I can, I will stay with them.

In comparison, my friend couldn't grasp the concept of why I would want to stay with my parents and not plan an eventual move out. It's just different cultures.

Although interestingly, when I was a kid I always thought that the North American culture promoted a much more closely knit family then Chinese culture. Small things like Thanksgiving dinners, eating dinner together, open expression of love, or even the sharing of feelings.
  
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:23AM

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