. . . in principle [man] has the possibility of recreating himself at every moment of his waking life. It is difficult but possible to reinvent one's identity, because man is human, the embodiment of freedom; his body and his situation are raw material out of which a way to be can be created, just as a sculptor creates forms out of clay or steel. . . . It is possible to play games with a relationship, to experiment with new forms, until a viable way is evolved. What seems to thwart this kind of interpersonal creativity is failure in imagination on the part of either partner, dread of external criticism and sanctions, and dread of change in oneself.
Sidney M. Jourard
Looking into the future is not something that the social scientist does with any degree of accuracy. Unlike the astronomer who studies stars and planets whose macroproperties, at least, are readily predictable, or the experimental scientist, who can predict because he can control the environment that influences his experimental subjects, the social scientist has little control over the environment in which he finds himself. Demographers, who have some of the most reliable data in the social sciences, hesitate to predict with assurance beyond five years. The variables that influence social institutions such as marriage and the family are numerous, complexly interrelated, and poorly understood.
This chapter, therefore, will be broken