The family has the same important work in tradition-bound societies as in emancipated dynamic societies. This work being:
This work is not straightforward given the many challenges and problems that life presents. Somehow, a family mustas a social unit. If it fails to do so, its members will run away or drift apart.
As in society, anything and everything that a family does for itself (including proposing and making choices) is actually done by its individual members singly or in groups.
The dynamic duality appears here as two forms of power-drenched activity—Family-centric v Member-centric.
When members act and think in a family-centric way, they are usually responding to that are assigned and accepted explicitly or implicitly.
is a motivating force. Becoming a spouse and parent automatically brings responsibility. Once children can walk and talk, simple and brief duties may be assigned, but their force is weak. As children grow, they become increasingly driven by duties, especially those intrinsic to their socialization.
Ideally, responsibilities are shared out in an appropriate way amongst family members. However, this sharing must alter as the family matures and the family’s situation changes. Changing is always hard.
Whereas any member may reject or try to avoid, each is identified with and driven by their , and the accompanying them.
Family members are inherently oriented to meeting each othersso as to generate attachment, enable affection, and reduce frustration and anger. Conflict naturally arises when flout and do not align with .
Conflicts amongstof different members of the family are common and to be expected. Excesses of control and violence may be driven by such conflicts and frustrations, as well as by intense urges to dominate.
All Levels.ultimately reside within individuals. This is obvious in regard to and . But it also applies at the other two
are powerful and abstract, but only exist as long as members sustain them. may be a property of the wider group, but socialization makes them part of the identity structure controlling the mind of the individual.
Despite this, the power sources are not intrinsically sources of individual power — instead the sources use the individual as a powerful instrument within the family for their own ends.
cf. society… where the powerful use the people as power to enable the elites to wage war and accumulate wealth for their own ends.
The notion that family members can and do exist independently of the family emerges at higher Levels, which are quite distinct from the .
Originally posted: July 2009; Last updated: 12 June 2014.