Change of Family Image Over Time
Today we can often hear complaints about elimination of the traditional family, which is said to be consisting of a married couple who raise their children together. Although there is such tendency, and a very sad tendency indeed, it is rather far-fetched to call this kind of family “traditional”. It seems that people are rather unfamiliar with history, for not so long ago the family built along the lines described above – the so-called nuclear family – has been a rather new and unfamiliar phenomenon. Since the ancient times in the majority of cultures there existed a considerably different picture of your standard family, with all the other types being nothing more than rare exceptions.
The so-called extended family consists of namely all the members of a family clan, including parents, children, grand- and grand-grandparents together with a variety of unmarried aunts and old uncles, often living under the same roof. Such a traditional family had once and for all defined roles for everyone, and worked as a single organism; it was almost impossible to separate from it without bringing about big problems upon yourself. And although such a structure was very helpful in case any of the family members got into trouble, it probably turned into literal hell in case there was at least a couple of people who couldn’t stand each other and, nevertheless, had to live together.
So, I think that the nuclear family is as good as we can get. It was a great development in social relationships, and it is truly sad that the entropy went much further than that.