双亲+子女组成核心家庭(Nuclear Family) - Est's Blog

双亲+子女组成核心家庭(Nuclear Family)

最近几个月最大的认知冲击是,我们这一代人可能是人类作为灵长类动物历史上非常罕见的核心家庭时期。

所谓「核心家庭」是 nuclear family 这一概念的直译,表示一个最小、最基本的家庭单元。与该概念相对的是单亲家庭(single-parent family),或者家族(extended family,四代同堂、三代同堂那种大家庭)

guan video

马前卒说,「三五个人组成的小家庭,彻底成为独立的基层单位,在中国是80年代以后的事情」,所以差不多就是我们这代才人发生的。而且更为奇葩的是我们这一带是前无古人后无来者的独生子女一代。

无独有偶,在Hacker News上也看到一篇趣文 「视频聊天软件 ZOOM 能拯救美式家庭吗 Can Zoom Save the American Family?

Corporate families, as defined by Steven Ruggles, a professor of history at the University of Minnesota, were the dominant family structure throughout the 1800s, named “corporate” because the family revolved around the family business. In the case of most American families in the pre-Industrial era, the family business was farming and many children were needed to sustain the land. Until 1850, three quarters of older Americans lived with their children and grandchildren in large family units. Industrialization changed this model. According to Brooks, the nuclear family had replaced the corporate family by 1920. By the 1960s, more than three quarters of all children were living with two parents, away from their extended families.

简单的说,在19世纪(18xx年),美国的「产业式家族」是绝对主流,一个大家族围绕着某个生意。在工业化之前普遍的情况是北美农业,需要很多子女和孙子辈才能维持土地经营。1960年,也就是核子时代到来之后,全美有多达3/4比例的子女跟父母组成的「核心家庭」,才变成主流。

但是核心家庭是否稳定呢?美国的情况是1920年以后离婚率飙升,生育率下降。只有有钱人才有能力撑起一个 extended family。这段时期是个体的解放,家庭的衰败。「The Michelle Obama podcast」更是说,70年代那种街坊邻居帮照看小孩是旧时代残留的一种投射,但是也造就了她的成功。她说

“It felt easier in those times to have a family unit because … success wasn’t defined by your ability to leave your nuclear unit and make it on your own…Every elder lived with someone. They shared expenses. They shared households. They shared duties in raising kids. There wasn’t this feeling that you were supposed to… raise a family on your own. That seems to be a new thing. The neighborhood I grew up in operated on this notion. It wasn’t just up to a parent to provide stability and love.”

这让我突然有个启发,工业化不是生育率下降的根本原因,工业化造就的核心家庭才是。因为双亲既要双份收入,又要独立承担繁杂的扶养责任,这样的压力太大了。更严重的问题是孩子从小缺乏能走心的玩伴,以及亲身接触大人的生产劳动场面。成人的生产技能是很难直接传授给子女的,所以子女的成长压力又转嫁到学业。人类学家发现,在捕猎采集社会里一个幼儿是被30+个熟人带大的。突然我对我自己童年的孤独感到释然了,也对我的娃产生了一种担忧。他们的玩伴呢?在大城市的小区里,他们也很少能接触到能教授他们技能和经验长辈熟人。

诺姆·乔姆斯基(就是 MIT 搞生成语法的那位大佬,Type-1图灵机,Type-2上下文相关,Type-3 Context-free,Type-4有限状态自动机的那个Chomsky)

“Neoliberal democracy. Instead of citizens, it produces consumers. Instead of communities, it produces shopping malls. The net result is an atomized society of disengaged individuals who feel demoralized and socially powerless.
In sum, neoliberalism is the immediate and foremost enemy of genuine participatory democracy, not just in the United States but across the planet, and will be for the foreseeable future.”

核心家庭也在瓦解民主社会。不过我倒是觉得也在反面催生另一种政治生态,比如美国黑人对 gang 的认同就超过了对单亲家庭的认同。

最后推荐一篇关于这个话题的长篇著作:《The Nuclear Family Was a Mistake》。thepaper 有中文翻译。作者是 NYT 的专栏 David Brooks。HN 的评论区1, 2 也非常精彩。

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