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Re: U.S. Population Nears 300 Million as Households Shrink

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  • Edward Z. Rosenthal
    I am curious about the psychological effects of the shrinking home. Are we less socialy adept as a result of the reduced number of household members? Fewer
    Message 1 of 3 , Oct 6, 2006
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      I am curious about the psychological effects of the shrinking home.
      Are we less socialy adept as a result of the reduced number of
      household members? Fewer people, generations to interact with
      intimately on a daily basis, more self centered.
    • Les U. Knight
      ... Are we less socialy adept as a result of the reduced number of household members? Fewer people, generations to interact with intimately on a daily basis,
      Message 2 of 3 , Oct 7, 2006
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        Edward, you wrote:
        >I am curious about the psychological effects of the shrinking home.
        Are we less socialy adept as a result of the reduced number of
        household members? Fewer people, generations to interact with
        intimately on a daily basis, more self centered.<

        That would be difficult to determine. Comparing our contemporary
        households, which typically have two generations at most, with
        households which include four or five generations would give
        unreliable results due to there being so many other factors. If the
        same religion, income, ethnicity/culture, and so on are also found in
        the one and two generation households, we might be able to tell how
        it affects people and therefore how it affects our culture.

        Generally speaking, I think children are better off growing up in a
        multi-generational household, or at least being exposed to people of
        all ages. Our population doesn't have to increase for this
        arrangement to exist. We could be improving our density as still have
        a variety in one household.

        Society's changing attitudes is major obstacle to multi-generational
        living in the US. If we lived in a static society and children grew
        up to do the same things their parents did, there would be no
        conflict. As it is, each generation has different attitudes about
        important lifestyle issues which are difficult to reconcile under one
        roof.

        Nonetheless, I think society isn't changing fast enough, and never
        will -- always a generation or two behind reality. Like, the reality
        of marriage and child rearing today is quite different from the way
        society as a whole imagines it. The dominant paradigm is to try to
        make our lives fit an obsolete worldview.

        The majority's desire in the US for marriage to be restricted to
        between a man and a woman represents this concept. Continuing to
        encourage breeding despite the obvious reasons not to is another
        example. Members of society change, but tradition drags us down.

        Les
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