of the family in
In the light of these figures no effort is required to understand how the demanding post-war period, the challenging reconstruction, the transformation of the Italian economy from agricultural to industrial and the economic miracle, were as many phases which at the same time posed crucial challenges for the country’s future which Italy faced using, or rather relying on, a means that might seem somewhat inappropriate but instead proved to be its true winning weapon, in a certain sense its profound soul: what we today describe as the traditional family, the family formed of a heterosexual couple with children.
than the 20 years of Fascism, when moreover the inequality of women was so marked
as to make the family constitutionally inadequate for growth and progress, is
that very special quarter century, whose features may even be described as
extraordinary, which represents the triumph of the family; a triumph that
seemed to know no obstacles if it is true, as it is true, that it was not to be
even touched by the revolutionaries – and precisely at the level of morals and
lifestyles: the 1960s. The highest rates of weddings, births and marriages
celebrated with the religious rite that
The most marked peculiarity of that family and at the same time the trait that most clearly distinguishes it from families today, lies in the conception it has of itself and that all its members have of it. That family neither is nor considers itself the point of arrival. Those who marry know and obviously accept – happily accept, it is said, precisely in the light of the data – that it is only a starting point, a firm, solid and reliable starting point. People start from the family to build their own place in the world. They do not stubbornly wait to get that place and move on to building a family only later, once they have obtained it. It is a family – the family of the above-mentioned quarter century – which does not wait for its individual components, the couple, to have already achieved what is necessary in order to provide it with firm foundations and prospects. Solidity and prospects are built and achieved as the family develops. It is a family that has its meaning, its sentiment, right at the starting point. From the starting point it measures its progress and that of its members, of their commitment, their work in time. And since it takes stock of itself beginning from its starting point it is not afraid of the future that cannot but follow. It fixes its gaze on the future, it is not nourished simply by the present, even though it knows very well that it must busy itself today if it is to reach the future.
Today’s family is a family that claims to fulfil itself from the end. From the goals it has already reached, from the objectives it has already achieved: the stages the individuals have already passed through, the sentimental experiences that have already led to rings, a sexual awareness that has matured, studies completed, a secure job, adequate housing. It is a family that asks itself for the promises already given – brought as a dowry by the man and by the woman – be kept. And it fights to consolidate what it already has, what the individuals have already achieved “before” creating a family. In this way the family clings to the past and fears the future, it is formed with great difficulty, it no longer possesses – or possesses far less – the cement of achievements to be made as a family. And the more it demands all the right conditions to avoid running risks in the time that is to come, the more risks it runs and it falls apart.
exactly on this boundary between two ways of thinking of and achieving the
family that one finds the transition of a family vowed like a football team to
play on the offensive, open, creative, and courageous, to a family which, again
like a football team, closes itself into its own field and only manages to
develop a defensive strategy: few openings, areas of risk and conventional
relations with others. Moreover the great
shortage of children, of boys and girls and of adolescents, even to the
fulfilment of the greatest age in
The more it wishes to lock up the result of its future in a safe, this is the conclusion, the more that result becomes problematic to it and is distanced from it.
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