Autonomy and Dependence in the Family: Turkey and Sweden in Critical Perspective

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Nonspecific Binding
  • Copyright: 2003-05-16
  • Publisher: RoutledgeCurzon

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What are the future prospects of the modern family? For a long time the common image in the West has been to see the nuclear family, consisting of two economically independent spouses and their children, as the natural outcome of the modernization process. As the hierarchies of patriarchal society vanish, a social order based on equal and autonomous individuals all set for self-realization has been assumed. However, high rates of divorce, often reported domestic violence, teen-agers left on their own at an early age, do not harmonize very well with this idealized image. So, which are the mechanisms underlying a more realistic picture of family life in the modern world? Critically analyzing the concept of the nuclear family the contribution of this book to family sociology is to point at the great variety of patterns "hidden" behind this one concept. The increasingly large space rendered to negotiation between the different members of the family in a modern setting has increased the range of diversityand unpredictability of the individual outcomes of each family relationship, or "project." For example, economic independence does not automatically weaken family norms, but may in combination with emotional interdependence preserve the importance given to family relationships (Turkey). Or, individual autonomy within the family may give opportunity to high self-realization, but it may as well lead to increased vulnerability and dependency in relation to peer-groups and other groups outside of the family (Sweden). Or, equality between the spouses may in combination with active interest lead to family relationships with a strong "inner core," but equality is no guarantee for such personal commitment, and a family, where the spouses are on an equal footing, may as well end up in a situation where the inner core of the family is weak or even absent. The width of this problematic is skillfully illustrated in this volume, where scholars (sociologists and psychologists) from countries at the opposite edges ofthe European continent - Turkey and Sweden - discuss the structural conditions and "moral economies" of the modern family from the point of view of their respective research. In this way the experiences of two very different social and cultural settings - one more hierarchical, the other more egalitarian - are combined in order to enrich the picture of current trends within modern family relationships.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1(2)
Contrasting Modernities
Elisabeth Ozdalga
Cross-cultural Perspectives on Family Change
Cigdem Kagitcibasi
Married and Degraded to Legal Minority: The Swedish Married Woman during the Emancipation Period, 1858-1921
Gunhild Kyle
The Strongest Bond on Trial
Rita Liljestrom
What the History of Family Counselling has to Say About Family Relations
Anna-Karin Kollind
Household and Family in Contemporary Turkey: an Historical Perspective
Sharon Bastug
Urban Migration and Reconstruction of the Kinship Networks. The Case of Istanbul
Sema Erder
Couples, Children and Families in Pictures
The Family and the Welfare State: a Route to De-familialization
Margareta Back-Wiklund
Equality - a Contested Concept
Ulla Bjornberg
Anna-Karin Kollind
Who Rules in the Core of the Family?
Torgedur Einarsdottir
Change and Continuity in the Turkish Middle Class Family
Diane Sunar
Family Work in Working Class Households in Turkey
Hale Bolak
Epilogue: Seeing Oneself through the Eyes of the Other 263(8)
Rita Liljestrom
Elisabeth Ozdalga
Appendix: Fact and Figures about Turkey and Sweden 271(12)
Index 283(4)
List of participants 287

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