We had 11 people last night, including 1-2 new members. I thought we ended up synthesizing the problem pretty well: There’s an inherent tension between individual liberty and a more “communal-centered” understanding of family and social foundations. Between a modern rights-based culture and more traditional, family-based cultures. Also, maybe the smaller the family unit gets, the weaker its ties to the community get.
I thought new member Maisha (excuse spelling) and her friend (missed her name — next time) made some good points on another area of tension: Individuals’ need for autonomy vs. their need for family and social support and acceptance.
Maybe the restructured, modern American family has both gained something and lost something.
On the issue of increasing governmental supports for young, working families, here are a few articles from my favorite political magazine, the American Prospect:
- When Opting Out Isn’t An Option – Most American women have to work. Why not support them better?
- Do Left and Right Agree About Anything on family issues?
- How Can We Help Struggling Families? Change their structure, he says.
- Don’t Forget The Men — Maybe helping poor non-custodial and single men is helping women.
Topics: I caught one new topic idea, “something related to crime.” Needs cogitation. Did I miss any? BTW, it’s almost time to select topics for the rest of 2010 — including the months before and after the November election. Who want to be on the selection committee? There are 2 openings; we need to meet before September 20 to pick from a list of member suggestions.