Man's Quest for Social Guidance: The Study of Social Problems

By Howard W. Odum | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XVI
PRACTICAL PROBLEMS OF FAMILY RELATIONSHIPS

The Family and Social Development. From the preliminary study of the family in the previous chapter we have seen something of the origin, nature, function, and development of that institution. In the end all the problems of the family reduce themselves to that of social stability, in which the great task of society is enabling the home and family to meet the exacting demands of social change without consequent disruption of such effective form and status as may be necessary for the integrity of society. No one expects social development to stop; no one should expect the family to stop in its growth and adaptation. What, therefore, are the next steps? What, besides study of the situation? What else besides legislation and social work, as indicated in our final chapter and as outlined in the ample reference books suggested? The present chapter will undertake to present three basic considerations in the study of the modern family and in its normal adjustment to modern civilization. The first centers around the attitude of men towards woman and her place in the home and the general changing status of women in the world. This problem in particular gives scope to our statement earlier in the book which emphasized the importance of right attitudes towards social situations. It assumes that we must get to the very bottom of the difficulties of family relationships before we attempt to prescribe remedies. The second major problem lies in the neglected field of education in parenthood, sex hygiene, and general social problems. Its consideration will emphasize the importance of general studies in human relations as well as specific formal studies of marriage and society. The third problem centers in the practical matters of economic and community adjustment in home building, community relations, country and city life, and in practical coöperative means of child nurture and child welfare. This chapter, therefore, is an adventure in the study of a situation which every young man or woman may face sooner or later.

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