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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The 5 European family types

The term "pro-family" is ambiguous because different cultures have different family types. Many immigrant groups have very strong family ties, but they have family types that are quite different from traditional American families.

A NY Times blog explains how Europe is divided geographically into different family types:
The research considered family types based on two criteria. One, the relationship between parents and children. If children flee the nest at an early age, the family type can be said to be “liberal.” If they stay at home and under the authority of their parents long into adulthood, even after having married themselves, the relationship can be classified as “authoritarian.” Second criterion: the relationship among siblings. If they are treated equally (in inheritance law, for example), the relationship is classified as “equal,” but if one child is favored (the firstborn son, say), the relationship is “unequal.”

Combining the criteria results in five distinct family types:

* The “absolute nuclear” family type is both liberal and unequal. Children are totally emancipated, forming independent families of their own. The inheritance usually goes to one child, often a son.

* The “egalitarian nuclear” family type is both liberal and equal. Children are as emancipated and independent as in the previous type, but equal division of the inheritance encourages stronger parent-children relations before the passing of the parents.

* The “stem” family type is both authoritarian and unequal. Several generations live under one roof, with one child marrying to continue the line. The other children remain unmarried at home, or leave to get married.

* The “incomplete stem” family is as above, but with slightly more equal inheritance rules — an intermediate with the last family type.

* The “communitarian” family is both authoritarian and equal. All sons can marry and bring their wives into the ancestral home. The family inheritance is divided equitably among all children.
Steve Sailer adds:
This Anglo-Saxon absolute nuclear family structure is conducive to the highest levels of personal freedom and individualism. But, it requires a lot of land and wealth to expect your sons to be able to afford houses of their own when they find their brides. The Anglo-Saxon nuclear family model where young adults are not under the thumbs of their parents or grandparents or aunt's husband thrives, as Benjamin Franklin pointed out, in underpopulated places with cheap land and high wages, but, as Franklin also noted in the 1750s, it gets undermined by high rates of immigration, which drive up land costs and lower wages. Those who follow the liberty-loving Anglo-Saxon model tend to get outcompeted by groups willing to pile an extended family into one house, as is happening across many of the metropolises of America today.
If America has a lot of immigrants with different family types, then they are less likely to acquire American values of personal freedom and individualism.

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