The family is a unique entity: the foundation of society and the first organized group in evolutionary terms.
The family possesses goods and power has a role, so politics applies. By drawing on our inquiry into political choice, we can understand family life from an unusual but useful perspective. At the same time, family life may teach us more about .
The family is considered here as equivalent to the household, the smallest form of territorial community. However… the analysis to follow would also include families whose members do not live together but who still experience themselves as tightly knit and affected by each other's choices and attitudes.
The family-household is a place where people, typically blood relatives, live together intimately. It is based on a nucleus of parents+children, and so there is marked disparity in maturity, self-sufficiency and physical strength amongst its members. This disparity immediately raises power issues.
The family is characterized by:
Because the family is so small and there are no organized groups as in wider society, we cannot use the same internal duality: «the people» v «the powerful». However, we can perceive what must correspond to this: «family members» v «family power sources».
From our discoveries in society, we know that the within a family will be found in the lower four Levels of the Tree, and the of the family will be located in the upper three Levels. From that framework, we can also guess that the within the family are likely to overwhelm .
The present analysis should be relevant to therapists, and welfare/community workers, because this phenomenon is the basis for various paradigms
The social v private dynamic duality in relation to making choices and energizing the group also needs some adjustment. Its form in this context is proposed as:
family-centric (F) or member-centric (M) or both simultaneously (B).
Originally posted: July 2009; Last updated: 12 June 2014.