CAIRN-INT.INFO : International Edition

Four types of diverging references currently provide a model of the family, conjugal, and parental function: theocratic, humanistic, naturalistic, and democratic. They have succeeded each other in the history of Western society. In a sense, they have settled in, overlapping rather than replacing one another and providing individuals with the possibility to combine elements of each of these different models within their own conjugal and family situations. That which makes such a social change in terms of references possible is as much a juxtaposition of diverging relational modalities between and within families as a freedom to change individual positions throughout the course of life. Caught up in such social upheaval, the accumulated knowledge of the human and social sciences is called upon for the difficult mission to legitimize the various family options available. However, scholars have highly different interpretations of parental roles.


  • family model
  • knowledge
  • social change
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