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SPECIAL REPORTS

Click on a title below to access either an individual article (denoted by an asterisk) or a set of articles published as a Special Report. The issue of publication appears in parentheses.

Special Reports for " Women"

The Future of the Family?

Shortly before the UN Conference on Women in Beijing, an international conference in Seoul, Korea, considered the present state and future prospects of the family.
Illustration by Marcia Klioze Hughes/The World & I 

Introduction
Fifteen years ago, I wrote a short piece on "Family Reconstruction," arguing that those proposing two other alternatives--I called them "family retrenchment" and "family deconstruction," respectively--offered no real alternative at all. The family retrenchment effort embodied a full-blooded restorationist project: Let's get back to some previous point before everything started to fall apart. But, I claimed then, and I have no reason to alter the point now, there is no possibility of reproducing a photograph that looks just like one taken in a middle-class neighborhood in 1954, say, as decent as that way of life may have been to the vast majority who lived it. We cannot fast-freeze social institutions and thaw them out for future use. ...

Feminism and the Family
The history of "the woman question," as it used to be known in the nineteenth century, is, of course, essentially the history of the family. The quotation cited above serves to illustrate where gender-feminism actually began and where it has now ended up. Engel's treatise The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State, was not a history of women's place in the home but a study of the dissolution of the family. Ultimately, as Engels knew, the history of the family involves the woman question. ...

From the Tyranny of Rules to the Whim of Relationships: The Family in Modern Society
"Ages" or "eras" are problematic concepts with fuzzy edges. Nevertheless, by identifying a set of practices that occur in this or that period in human history, archaeologists and historians have been able to specify clear time boundaries for periods like the Stone Age or the Iron Age. We live in what is called the Modern Age. ...

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