Culture Wars, then and now, ep 4: ‘Family matters’

For a long time the family has been viewed as the location of all sorts of social and moral problems and are where many of the key discussions in the culture wars have traditionally been played out. But recently the focus seems to have shifted from traditional issues such as marriage, sexual freedom or abortion to the questions of parenting – resulting in more instrumental, and less moral arguments approaches to family life coming to the fore. This lecture traces these developments and clarifies whether and why the family matters.


Dr Jan Macvarish, visiting research fellow at the Centre for Parenting Culture Studies, University of Kent; author of Neuroparenting: the expert invasion of family life.


* Is the state necessarily a threat to the family or can it support family life?
* What are the core values of the nuclear family and are they worth reinvigorating?
* How does ‘The Family’ as an ideal and an institution relate to the family as lived?
* How might parental authority be reconstituted in the context of greater gender equality?


Neuroparenting: The expert invasion of family life, J. Macvarish, Palgrave Macmillan, 2016

Parenting Culture Studies, E. Lee, J. Bristow, C. Faircloth and J Macvarish, Palgrave Macmillan, 2014.

The War over the Family: Capturing the Middle Ground, B. Berger and P.L. Berger, Anchor Press/Doubleday, 1983


In the context of today’s instrumental approaches to knowledge, The Academy summer school is a modest attempt to demonstrate the value of scholarship, and of the worth of the university as a place of free enquiry dedicated to the pursuit of truth.


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