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I just found this Science Daily article about the "Four Family Cultures of America Identified," and I was very intrigued by what was outlined.

Read the story, and take a look at the questions and observations below.

I have lots of questions about this that I would love to put to the authors of this study, but lets look at the categories:

The Faithful

The Engaged Progressives

The Detached Parents

The American Dreamer

My question is, is it possible for a family to be in one category and move into another category?

Were there some families that defied these categories, by being blends of one or more styles? I wonder if so, what those numbers and descriptions look like?

What was the family type you inhabited as a child?


Is the family-type of your childhood similar to or different than the type you inhabit now?

Did your childhood, family type influence you when creating what you considered positive traits in your family?

Is there any element in another category you would like to add to your family-type?

I think our family is somewhere between  90% Engaged Progressive and 10% American Dreamer. We do our best to make sure our children are informed about their lives as citizens, even young ones, and also do our best to teach them how to be people who can find opportunity while still adhering to that Golden Rule.

Golden Rule--nailed that one, it's a big deal in this house.

Birth Control and Age Appropriate Sex Education, Nailed it.

R- movies, not so much, but my kids are a bit young for that still, but they do have great freedom in this household to read just about any material they wish to, with a few obvious exceptions.

Now for the other questions:

How do these family-types affect political demographics, or the "atmospheric" conditions in a community?

Take this excerpt from The Faithful family type:

Raising "children whose lives reflect God's purpose" is a more important parenting goal than their children's eventual happiness or career success.
How would one communicate a vision of common good, to another family[s] who might not share your definition of the concept of good, and who see all other things are secondary or tertiary to faith?

I can think of many times, being in a exchange where someone hints that if you are not of their faith that you lack "Family Values" to which I have responded, "Sure we have values, they just aren't your values". But looking at these types of families, described, I can see the outline of that cultural disconnect.

What one family may identify as "family friendly," may be interpreted as the complete opposite by another family-type.

To me this is sort of like identifying cell-types in an organ or tissue. That a majority of one or two types would determine common community values in a town or neighborhood or school.

Which family type is dominant in your community or school? And are you a part of that dominant paradigm?

For instance, in my area the Faithful Family is the dominant paradigm, but we are an Engaged Progressive Family.

So most of the adult/parents we encounter put a big emphasis on church and faith, whereas we are as a whole, very skeptical of those items, especially in terms of organized religion.

This has a profound effect on how we socialize, and in some cases, IF we socialize with other families.

What would you do, if you found yourself in a family type that was in the minority in your community? How would you bridge that gap? Or would you even bother to try?

What are your thoughts and experiences with regard to these categories? Do they make sense to you?

4:56 PM PT: Thanks to the sharp eyes and wit of mweens, it was brought to my attention that the funding for this project calls for closer scrutiny of this study, and it's future applications if any. See: for more information. As pointed out by Jplanner the phraseology in a statement made about Judaism, Islam and Christianity, was overly broad and illustrates bias towards Christian religious paradigms, which may indicate further issues with the results of the sampling. Hopefully the entire study will be out soon so interested parties can have a good look.

Originally posted to GreenMother on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 04:36 AM PST.

Also republished by Barriers and Bridges.


Our Family is Best Described As:

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Comment Preferences

  •  Our family now falls into the.. (5+ / 0-)

    Engaged Progressive and American Dreamer categories.. but there's also a level of reality to it. It's more looking at the best fit for each child, without restricting that child. Yes we want both children to soar, but we also are teaching our children to work within their capabilities while stretching their capabilities. Maybe there should be altered categories for those with disabled children LOL.

    We hit some of those 'milestones' in Engaged Progressive late as well, because chronologically 15 and developmentally 15 isn't the same thing for us (for example). We also watch the R rated movies before the kids watch them. Some honestly should never have been R rated in the first place (Robin Hood Prince of Thieves comes to mind, heck I let my 9 year old watch that one). There are some PG13 movies however, I don't let them watch (and often those line up with ones they don't want to see anyway).

    My family growing up wouldn't have fit into any of those categories. They may have fit better if you looked at each parent individually. But my dad is an Alcoholic, he was both detached and an authoritarian to the point of abuse. He didn't monitor our homework for example, but anything other than an A or B was unacceptable for any reason. He didn't feel he was losing ground with other influences, but he was uber restrictive on anything we did, to the point that we pretty much didn't have social lives outside of school hours (at least after he was home from work). But that control wasn't religious based in anyway. Odd thing was, late in my senior year he yelled at me for never going to any school functions and that I needed more of a social life. I should have 'asked him more often until he let me go'. Yeah. Right. I preferred to get hit less not more thanks.

    My mother was more of an Engaged Progressive, though her influence was extremely limited by my dad's attitudes. She shone more with my youngest sister after she and my dad split up. There were many times when she'd let us take off to a friend's house so long as we were home by 5:30 so that my dad didn't know about it (he got home at 6). She'd talk my dad into letting us sleep over at a friend's to 'help with a paper route' knowing we were actually having a birthday party for someone, etc.

    "Madness! Total and complete madness! This never would've happened if the humans hadn't started fighting one another!" Londo Mollari

    by FloridaSNMOM on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 05:11:43 AM PST

    •  We were poor. My parents worked, and I had very (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      FloridaSNMOM, quill, Aunt Pat

      little adult supervision. We fit into the Detached Family but my family now, well I described it--Engaged Progressive.

      I don't think your child has to be special needs, to be looking to create a life for each child that is the right fit. Knowing realistic limits and weaknesses are simply parts of good parenting regardless of the child's abilities or conditions.

      Robin Hood rated R? I must have forgotten that.

      I think my family as a child, would have been closer to Engaged Progressive, if we had been able to access more money, which equals less time-poverty.

      How do you parent effectively if you are working more than one job and barely getting by. People do it, but it's so much harder that way, and it seems a shame to me that so many families have to suffer simply due to a lack of a living wage and genuinely efficacious, affordable healthcare.

      As a result, we make more money than our parents did, but we choose to make due with less than we could have, simply to have more involvement with our children, and less work-stress on ourselves while we try and raise them and guide them.

      •  It occurs to me that the difference between (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        FloridaSNMOM, Aunt Pat

        American Dreamer and Detached Family could simply be, that in some cases, immigrant families perceive more opportunities, whereas, some families that have been here for generations, see on the cycle of poverty and no way out of it.

        I think I could put this in a more clear way, but I haven't quite found the words yet.  

        •  Only! Some families that have been here longer (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          FloridaSNMOM, Aunt Pat

          see ONLY the cycle of poverty and no way out of it.

          Sometimes my brain goes faster than my fingers.

        •  "American Dream" is like a religion (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          FloridaSNMOM, GreenMother

          I think that people who immigrate have extremely high buy-in to the "American Dream" meme, to the point where it has a religious faith-based quality. Various studies have shown that economic mobility isn't actually very good in the US, so naturally, people who have been here living in poverty for several generations are quite a bit more jaded by reality.

          "I don't cry over milk spilled under bridges. I go make lemonade" - Bucky Katt

          by quill on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 09:55:00 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  My dad is a union iron worker.. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        GreenMother, Aunt Pat

        he's had periods of layoffs, but for most of my school years he was working one long project and was making enough that my mom stayed at home and we took several vacations a year plus supported his alcohol habit. Ours wasn't about money.

        Now I live in poverty, but I didn't growing up. That doesn't mean we had everything we wanted and my mom operated under a very small grocery budget because dad controlled the purse strings and had unrealistic expectations ( He didn't raise the grocery 'budget' for 10 years, during which time 2 more children were born for example), but we always had food, we ate out routinely, etc. My mom got good at sneaking money from one part of the budget to the other, and she bought no name and put name brand labels on the cans to fool my father.

        I guess the best descriptive for our household we grew up in was 'functioning dysfunctional'.

        "Madness! Total and complete madness! This never would've happened if the humans hadn't started fighting one another!" Londo Mollari

        by FloridaSNMOM on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 05:40:54 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Robin Hood Prince of Thieves... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        GreenMother, Aunt Pat

        Now they call it PG-13, but that rating didn't exist when it came out. It was R rated. I remember having to talk my mom into letting my little sister go see it with me because of the rating. But there's nothing in it worth an R rating. I've seen westerns on regular TV with more violence and such in it.

        "Madness! Total and complete madness! This never would've happened if the humans hadn't started fighting one another!" Londo Mollari

        by FloridaSNMOM on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 05:44:28 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  detached progressive = poor liberal (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        tb92, FloridaSNMOM, GreenMother

        Like I mentioned below, I think this study should be taken with a grain of salt, but given that, I think my family would have fallen into their "progressive" category, except that we were poor. My mother was very liberal but worked all the time and wasn't able to engage in the level of parenting she'd have wanted to.

        I think this describes the majority of families living in poverty (regardless of whether parents are liberal or conservative or immigrants). I guess what I'm saying is that poverty acts like a separate dimension to the values dimension (liberal vs conservative).

        "I don't cry over milk spilled under bridges. I go make lemonade" - Bucky Katt

        by quill on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 10:10:54 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  When my daughter... (4+ / 0-)

      ...was growing up, we probably would have been in the engaged progressive group with a streak of benign neglect.

      My community is mostly engaged progressive with strong element of helicopter parent.

      My family of origin would be the faithful - honor thy father and mother, spare the rod - but with no actual comprehension of teachings like the golden rule.

      The authors might be on to something.  It is useful to have a framework for thinking about these things.  But I also think families are more complex than can be captured with four categories.

  •  Quibble about how article defines "faithful" type (6+ / 0-)

    Says that such types are based on Christian, Jewish, or Islamic moral traditions and also that they believe that the nature of humanity is sinful or fallen.

    That is a Christian construct. I do not know if it is also a construct in ISlam.

    It is NOT a construct in Judaism.

    SO often the dominant culture in our society (when speaking of religion that is Christian) makes the mistake of thinking it's own mores and values are broader than they are.

    Jews do not believe in original sin. Even  the most religious strict Jewish family would not meet that criteria of

    a small side point, I know. But the researchers are in error in how they defined a subset of this group. You have to read the article to see the error. It's not semantic, it's real. They ascribe a Christian belief to other religions as well and at least one of those religions does not share that belief.

    sorry to quibble...but I feel the need to push back when mischaracterizations happen around my religion especially when the  majority religion's belief is erroneously assumed to apply to mine. If I knew more about Islam I'd defend it as well. (I don't think the concept of being born sinful is appealing...I find it disturbing and not helpful to raising children, personally).

    •  Really? You never read the alienation myth (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Adam and Eve being cast out of the garden? Their children becoming inherently sinful as a result of that expulsion?

      Jesus as the redeemer, sent to use his blood as a sacrifice to cover the sinful blood of the rest of us? Blood of the [sacrificial] lamb doesn't ring a bell?

      •  my comment does not deny anything Christian (5+ / 0-)

        as I said, I'm Jewish why would "blood of sacrificial lamb" ring a bell in particular? not sure what you are getting at then.

        True Jew believe in what Christians have adopted as the Old Testement (aka five books of Moses) and our Genesis is nearly the same. So I should have explained it better.

        I did not say I never read the alienation myth. If you mean what happened in Genesis. It just is not a big part or really much of a part at all of Judaism. We aren't taught that we are sinful.

        I grew up in a Catholic neighborhood and have read some about Christianity and, having lived in this country, have absorbed some of it. The article says that the religious and calls it Judeo/Christian/Islamic believe that humans are innately sinful as a word view in those families.

        It is not the world view of Jews. As I said, I do not know if it is an worldview of Islam. It is a common world view I have encountered in Christians but my experience amongst religious Christians is mostly with Catholics.

        I meant no offense.

        •  ie you are not born sinful (0+ / 0-)

          if you are saying Christians do not believe they are born sinful (with stain of original sin on them) because Jesus died to remove that (I am trying to interpret what you said about sacrificial lambs blood)....I think that some might not act as if that is so.

          Again this is about the article saying that the religious families (3 religions) believed that people were born sinful...yet I myself do not see that in Jewish families, don't know about Islamic families but have not see/heard that in the several I've known well, but I HAVE seen it in may Catholic families I have known and have heard that in our culture as a concept as well. Perhaps it's a mistaken concept of what Christians are supposed to believe?

        •  Someone says the study is Fundamentalist (0+ / 0-)

          Christian-sponsored, down thread.

          If so maybe that has something to do with their Christian world view of all three religions being like (they say) their own is...believing people are born sinful.

      •  I don't think the Jewish sages (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Aunt Pat, irishwitch, auapplemac, ozoozol

        interpretted our Genesis as that children and decendants are innately sinful because of the mistakes of Adam and Eve. We did not need to be wiped clean...if what you meant by your statement about "the blood of the sacrificial lamb" (that's Christianity not my religion) wiping sins clean by his sacrifice?

        I should not have used the term "original sin" as it was unclear what I meant.

        Babies are born innocent and pure. Sin is by deeds of the born living and aware...when  you are alive. That is what I learned in my religion.

        •  The commonality between the three faiths (0+ / 0-)

          mentioned in the study, stem from the common use of The Pentateuch as a primary source of religious text. No one denies that these faiths diverge after that point.

          However, this seemed to be the common thread identified by the authors of the study: That some participants within this study, who self identified as Christian, Jewish and Muslim, placed a higher priority on living in congruence with their respective faiths, or faith community, over happiness or success.

          This is not a criticism, simply a pattern that emerged within the study. And it certainly should not be interpreted as a coherent exegetical treatment of all three "Peoples Of The Book" that somehow turn them into a super-religion.

          Simply that certain commonalities were observed. And obviously the reason that in this study, conducted in the United States, turned up a majority of Christians, Jews and Muslims, is simply due to the fact that these three faith groups are more widely represented in our national populace, as opposed to other organized religions.

          So take a breath.


          No one is going to make you adhere to any other faith, or reinterpret your own, personal belief system, based on this small sample of American families.

          •  Please do not tell me to take a breath and relax (0+ / 0-)

            it seems slightly disrespectful.

            Again, thought their are many commonalities between the three faiths I submit that one of the main ones the study sponsors write about, if you go to the study, is not common.

            Jews do not believe that you are born sinful.

            did you hide my post? If so that wasn't very nice. It seem to be gone. I didn't say anything offensive except to object to the "take a deep breath". I've seen that on Kos before and I believe it comes from a slightly patronizing place of "gosh this person is making a big deal out of something". I think its use always comes across that way to be honest.

          •  I don't think anyone is making me adhere to (0+ / 0-)

            another faith and I did not say that in my post.

            I am correcting a mis-usumption the study makes about my religion. Perhaps Islam as well but I don't know about it.

            •  Your blanket statement originally made was (0+ / 0-)

              just as factually incorrect as the one made in the Science Daily Story.

              What you witnessed there, is called Christian Privilege. I have gotten used to seeing it all the time, living in a red state. I should flinch when I see it, but I just don't anymore.

              This was the phrase that caught my eye :

              Raising "children whose lives reflect God's purpose" is a more important parenting goal than their children's eventual happiness or career success.
              I thought that it was a rather successful method of communicating an observation regarding a phenomenon that I see quite often where I live.  Which is why I followed it up with this question:
              How would one communicate a vision of common good, to another family[s] who might not share your definition of the concept of good, and who see all other things are secondary or tertiary to faith?
              I feel like you are so hung up on this one thing, that you are missing the opportunity to have a whole other dialogue, a much better one, here, now.

              But instead--back and forth about stuff we both already know.


              There is nothing in the rule book that says we cannot find interesting things, even by people we don't normally like or care for, and put them to some better use.

              •  I am hung up on not being misunderstood (0+ / 0-)

                I made a narrow side comment initially and indicated it was such.
                it was only when misinterpreted by you that I belabored the point
                And I owned that I chose the wrong words in my first post right after.
                have a good night...I'm off.

    •  Good observation (0+ / 0-)

      You're spot on with the study's assumption of common doctrines amongst the Abrahamic religions (it also seems not to have a place at all for the faithful of non-Abrahamic religions)

  •  none if those describe my family. (7+ / 0-)

    imagine that: a reductive, 4-category taxonomy of dubious value and purpose doesn't capture the rich variety of beliefs and values.

    David Brooks wasn't co-author of the study, was he?  it really reads like one of his "the country can be divided into people that eat fruit loops and people that eat total" columns.

    •  I am sure if we could see the whole study, that (0+ / 0-)

      it would offer us something more like a spectrum.

      I see nothing wrong with creating categories to help sort things out from time to time.

      First, a nationally representative sample of 3,000 parents of school-aged children completed an online one-hour survey. Then follow-up, in-person interviews were conducted with 101 of the survey respondents. The 90-minute interviews complemented the survey with open-ended questions designed to elicit parents' implicit and explicit strategies and assumptions.
      I am sure the data is just as rich and varied as anyone might want, however I am also sure these categories rest on the patterns that emerged from these surveys and interviews.
    •  it's actually worse (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mightymouse, quill, irishwitch, tardis10

      The study was funded by a well known pro-evangelical think tank.  Their agenda is pretty plain from the descriptions used.

      •  Could you provide a link? (0+ / 0-)

        And what in your opinion, at first glance fits an agenda?

        •  google Templeton Foundation (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Aunt Pat, irishwitch, mweens

          Yep, the research was funded by the Templeton Foundation, a RW religious thinktank dedicated to promoting RW values and religious morality. Templeton has given large amounts of money to anti-gay causes, etc.

          I'd also point out that this article is actually a press release for a study that will be presented at a conference at some point. No evidence this has undergone peer review in any respectable journal, so the conclusions are a bit suspiscious.

          The statistical method, surveys and cluster analysis, may be valid, however, even that is possibly problematic: how did they select the 3000 families to do the web-based survey, and how did they choose the 101 families for a followup? Did the researchers have an agenda that led them to select certain types of family that fell into pre-conceived categories?

          Even if they were unbiased, the categories look to me like re-definitions of socio-economic categories that others like Pew have identified (I would say they are: conservative, liberal, blue collar, immigrant/minority).

          "I don't cry over milk spilled under bridges. I go make lemonade" - Bucky Katt

          by quill on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 09:44:41 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  And isn't that just as interesting? (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            quill, mweens
            Even if they were unbiased, the categories look to me like re-definitions of socio-economic categories that others like Pew have identified (I would say they are: conservative, liberal, blue collar, immigrant/minority).
            I for one am glad that I brought it up for just this reason. If I hadn't done this, who knows if anyone would have been paying attention?

            Maybe it's unbiased, maybe it isn't, but isn't it good that it's being looked at.

            I still think the questions are interesting, and I look forward to seeing the material that this is derived from, just to see.

            •  yeah, it would be interesting to see the study (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              I'm particularly interested to know how strong the clustering is (assuming they haven't somehow jiggered the results). Is each category exclusive from the others, or is there some overlap, and if so which catgories overlap more, etc?

              "I don't cry over milk spilled under bridges. I go make lemonade" - Bucky Katt

              by quill on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 10:15:56 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

    •  "Bobos" wasn't one of the categories n/t (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      "Okay, until next time. Keep sending me your questions, and I will make fun of you... I mean, answer them." - Strong Bad

      by AaronInSanDiego on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 09:27:16 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  All happy families are the same. (7+ / 0-)

    Every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.

    •  I don't understand. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      FloridaSNMOM, mightymouse

      All Happy Families are the Same.


      Every unhappy family is unhappy in it's own way?

      I think you left out a not, in the first sentence?

      {I hate it when that happens}.

      I didn't feel that this study threatens the notion of uniqueness at all, with regards to families and their collective identities. It simply defined characteristics that created patterns in this study.

      I thought it was an interesting method of looking at the notion of family and of a community.

        •  rserven, I never understood that quote. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          But, then, I never made it all the way through Anna Karenina, either.  If you come back this way, would you explain why it came to mind in this context?

          •  There has been advertisement of a remake... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            irishwitch, Joy of Fishes

            ...of the movie lately, and each time she sees it, my partner has recited the quote.

            The title of this diary...and a bit of reading of the cited article...sparked my comment.

            I don't really have any knowledge of happy families, as my own was highly dysfunctional.

            •  Anna Karenina Principle (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              Who knew.  I thought why not google .... turns out there is something called the Anna Karenina Principle.  Some of the quotes used in the wiki article:

              Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way. (Tolstoy)
              Again, it is possible to fail in many ways (for evil belongs to the class of the unlimited, as the Pythagoreans conjectured, and good to that of the limited), while to succeed is possible only in one way (for which reason also one is easy and the other difficult -- to miss the mark easy, to hit it difficult); for these reasons also, then, excess and defect are characteristic of vice, and the mean of virtue; For men are good in but one way, but bad in many. (Aristotle)
              Oh my.  Only one way to happiness, and endless ways to unhappiness.  It seems rather hopeless.  But I think they are missing something.  This gets closer:
              ... All well-adapted systems are alike, all non-adapted systems experience maladaptation in their own way,... But in the chaos of maladaptation, there is an order. It seems, paradoxically, that as systems become more different they actually become more correlated within limits.  (Alexander Gorbin)
              Now wait a minute... there are multiple ways to unhappiness, but the end result of unhappiness is all the same.  I get that.  I would add however that the paths to happiness are also myriad.  They criss-cross the other paths, and at every juncture we have a choice of which path to follow.  

              (From a kid from one dysfunctional family to kid from another.)

              •  Eh, I like the way the Buddhists talk of happiness (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Joy of Fishes

                And I am not quoting scripture here, that I know of, just some conversations. They seemed to think that it was just the opposite. The key was mostly in perception and acceptance.

                •  My simple construct might ... (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  ... not stand up to scrutiny.  After all, I made it up after finding the AK principle, deciding it was incomplete, and filling in what I thought was missing.

                  But if we were to play with it a bit, at each of those junctures how do we recognize that we have a choice, and how do we choose?  For me, it would be a  combination of mindfulness (what is really going on here?) and a secular form of the serenity prayer (change what I can change, and accept what I cannot change, i.e. don't cling to wishing something is other than what it is).

                  Does this make sense?  

    •  Doubt that!! (0+ / 0-)

      you make the argument that happiness is uninteresting and only unhappiness is interesting!

      literature says that you are right. All the books about misery and drama, and no books about what happened after the happy endings.

      Still, I dont believe that!

      I have set myself as a task for my life, to be as unhappy as possible (so that less unhappiness is left over for others). Still that doesnt seem to make me intersting in the eyes of others, quite the reverse ! They all seem to only want to read about unhappiness, not actually band together with it :)  

  •  Interesting article topic. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GreenMother, Joy of Fishes

    I grew up in a catholic Faithful family with 8 siblings-

    Brought my daughter up in an Engaged Progressive environment.

    Got divorced and daughter ended up splitting time in my above family and a Detached household with an alcoholic father, step-mother on anti-depressants.

    Now my daughter is wrestling with that background and has a very un-defined household of 3 spoiled children in constant competition (that makes no sense to me)...OY!

    "Time is for careful people, not passionate ones."

    "Life without emotions is like an engine without fuel."

    by roseeriter on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 06:06:03 AM PST

  •  Grew up in (4+ / 0-)

    a progressive/detached home, and have the same. It's hard to get really excited about the optional excesses of parenting when you are having to work very hard and be very careful in order to get everyone fed and keep shoes on everyone's feet.

    When you come to find how essential the comfort of a well-kept home is to the bodily strength and good conditions, to a sound mind and spirit, and useful days, you will reverence the good housekeeper as I do above artist or poet, beauty or genius.

    by Alexandra Lynch on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 06:48:12 AM PST

  •  if you described the 4 types in one sentence at (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    the beginning the whole thing would be easier to follow.

    How big is your personal carbon footprint?

    by ban nock on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 07:35:00 AM PST

  •  Bells went off in my head about this study (4+ / 0-)

    as soon as I read the article and saw the words "funded by an $800000 grant from the John Templeton Foundation".  They have a clear agenda and their descriptions of the various family types they claim to have found only brings it into sharp relief.

    Seriously, am I the only one here who caught this?

    •  I guess so (0+ / 0-)

      What do you suppose the agenda of this study is-- do you feel that the Science Daily story misrepresented the study?

      The write-up I read seemed interesting. It reminded me of interviews and studies read in college on occasion, way back in the day.

    •  Here is a wikipedia link to the page for this org (0+ / 0-)

      for interested readers, scroll down to controversies, and click on the foot notes to read more:
      Broadly, controversial aspects of the Templeton Foundation fall into three categories.

          The Foundation is seen by some as having a conservative bias.
          The Foundation receives criticism from some members in the scientific community who are concerned with its linking of scientific and religious questions.
          The Foundation stands accused of using its financial clout to encourage researchers and reporters to produce material favourable to its position linking religion to science etc

      •  The agenda of the Foundation (3+ / 0-)
        as noted in the wikipedia article, is, to turn a phrase from an Episcopalian ex girlfriend of mine on its head, "to protect monotheism under an umbrella of science".

        To illustrate the point, lets just go through the descriptions of family types from the press release/article.

        First of course is "the Faithful" who have

        "a divine and timeless morality, handed down through Christianity, Judaism or Islam, giving them a strong sense of right and wrong"
        which of course presupposes that all morality comes from faith, that, to quote a theologian from the last century "man cannot be good without God".

        Continuing through to the "Engaged Progressives" who

        sidelined God as morality's author...[and therefore] see few moral absolutes beyond the Golden Rule...[and] are skeptical about religion and are often guided morally by their own personal experience or what "feels right" to them.
        which continues the (faulty and frankly insulting) hypothesis that without faith, there is no real moral character.  Further, note the first section of the blockquote above.  It clearly presumes that morality comes not just from faith, but from Abrahamic Law to the exclusion of other sources of ethics, religious or otherwise.

        Need I continue?

        •  Yes. Instead of dripping your contempt over me (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          why not join the discussion as if you weren't engaging the enemy. I am not your enemy. Just because I didn't know of this organization, doesn't mean I am "One of them". At no point was I bitten by a zombie member of this institution.

          In fact, your entire attitude is as if, because this material hailed from this direction, we shouldn't discuss it at all, or else.

          And what is up with that?

          If anything your point made this even more interesting, but you know, now I just feel attacked, for not knowing.

          •  I am not attacking you (0+ / 0-)

            At what point in my previous posts is there any ad hominem, let alone any directed at you perosnally?  

            My criticisms are directed at the study and the Foundation that sponsored it, both of whose agendas are suspect.  

            As far as an actual academic paper, the article itself was limited at best, with few actual numbers and very limited information regarding methodology.  In this sense, it's not an article so much as a press release.

            That said, regardless of the nature of the study about which this article discusses, all science merits discussion, even if only to debunk it.  At no point did I say that the study should be completely ignored, but one should always be on guard for agendas, especially in social science research, which can lend itself to normative rather than empirical or substantive thinking.  In that sense, I treat the study with (slightly) less skepticism than I would a white paper by Grover Norquist's group.

            Additionally, though the Templeton Foundation sponsors research to try to find scientific support for Judeo Christian theism, they are quite free with the findings of their research, even where it would disagree with their stated goals.  A great example of this is a study they funded in the 90s trying to find a link between prayer and healing from hospitalization.  The study found a correlation all right, but it was negative (if the subject knew s/he was being prayed for, s/he was signficantly more likely to get worse than those who either didn't know or weren't prayed for).  Even so, the research was published.  This level of academic honesty is emphatically not something you'd find from a pseudoscientific YEC hack like William Lane Craig or Kent Hovind, so, in that regard, they aren't to be completely ignored.

            My point being, whenever research comes out, it's important to know where it comes from.   I would be academically remiss if I didn't let others know of this interesting tidbit about the study.  It was a point about the nature of the research, its original hypotheses, and how those might be reflected in the research itself.  They were not a call to ignore the research out of hand and most emphatically not a personal attack on you for posting a link as a diary.

            •  Am I the only one who sees this? (0+ / 0-)

              That was unnecessary. If I thought for a second, that the study was RW punditry or something bad or evil, I certainly wouldn't push it as harmless. I welcome your input, but without the venom.

              You were put off, because I didn't know who/what this foundation was.

              Well. I do a lot of reading, but even I cannot read and know everything.

  •  families I'm involved with (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FloridaSNMOM, tardis10, GreenMother

    have too much of the detached parent thing going on.

    drives me nuts.

    why have kids and then act like they're some kind of burden?

    why act victimized by one's kids?

    interesting set of categories ... like all such schemes it's problematic, but it's still thought-provoking.

    An ambulance can only go so fast - Neil Young

    by mightymouse on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 08:46:43 AM PST

  •  I don't know about that article and good (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    diary Green Mother....I think it depends more on the
    era if which group you fall into which further molds a person and then marries or divorces into or out of.
    I don't think one can actually label a family dynamic because it is constantly changing.  Example:  You may be a devout person of faith but with tolerance and an open mind, your kids may be aethist or a different faith, your husband could be of no faith or not one of yours, and both could share progressive or idealogical ideas that have nothing to do with money.   One of the kids could marry outside the faith or become poor or wealthy.
    I just don't think one can nail down individuals in a unit.
    Precisely why they are part of a family unit but maybe not sharing their beliefs or parenting or even their politics.  

    We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

    by Vetwife on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 09:02:34 AM PST

  •  I wonder if these definitions only apply (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    to the current generation. I look at the family I grew up in and it doesn't fit neatly into any of the categories given.

    "Okay, until next time. Keep sending me your questions, and I will make fun of you... I mean, answer them." - Strong Bad

    by AaronInSanDiego on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 09:24:13 AM PST

    •  It was a sample of about 3000 families (0+ / 0-)

      so while really intriguing, I am not sure that only 4 will do, or what the agenda of the study is, while making these categories.

    •  What you you call that family then? (0+ / 0-)

      How would you define it and why? You know, we don't have to wait for people to tell us what they think. You are allowed [not that you need my permission] to define yourself and your own history and your family as you see fit.

      •  My family had, or has (0+ / 0-)

        characteristics described in most of these groups,, with the exception of the "detached" group. My parents were religious, but not fundamentalist in their approach. They felt that their values were strongly connected to that religion, but they were also liberal in many ways, and lifelong Democrats. As Jews, we weren't taught that human nature was inherently sinful, and were encouraged to question and make up our own minds (which led to two of their children becoming atheists, and the third one having an affinity for Catholicism). My parents were initially quite resistant to accepting my sister's sexual orientation when she came out to them, so they weren't totally open minded, but that was a few decades ago. My parents' families came from humble beginnings, but they became quite accomplished and had relatively good incomes and supported me though much of my college education.

        So, I don't know how, or if I could define what type of family I had, from that.

        "Okay, until next time. Keep sending me your questions, and I will make fun of you... I mean, answer them." - Strong Bad

        by AaronInSanDiego on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 07:09:15 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Sounds like a pretty great family. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          I think it's okay that you are not sure.
          I get the feeling that this was a new project, where someone new to the field is working on redefining some things they see, but that perhaps are not adequately addressed in their field.

          I have to say, I have had to do interviews, much smaller, and not for peer review--unfortunately I didn't get that far, but I too had to look for patterns and trends, and create conclusions and definitions for what emerged from the material.

          It's not easy. When I do that, I am always seeing something new, to add, or to refine. With this project, the next study may blow some of the findings of the first out of the water, meaning rewrites or changing directions entirely.

          Look at this blurb:

          Each type represents a complex configuration of moral beliefs, values and dispositions -- often implicit and rarely articulated in daily life -- largely independent of basic demographic factors, such as race, ethnicity and social class, the "Culture of American Families" study reports.
          So this person sees an undefined dynamic, and they are attempting to remedy that.
  •  I have chores to do outside. So I am not ignoring (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    comments, just an FYI, so I will  Be back online  later.

  •  We're childless by choice. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Which, I guess means we're not a real family since we didn't reproduce. I get very tired of that attitude.  C couple IS a family, people. Children are a choice.

    We're Engaged Progressives surrounded by the Faithful. Hell, one Christmas Eve party, we learned that our then next door neighbor hadn't changed her name upon marriage  because she didn't have the time to do so. The three males present found this shocking.  I told them I'd kept my name during 3 marriages and widowhood. That upset them too.

    They asked my husband if he he didn't mind that I hadn't taken his name.

    DH shrugged and said, "I married her. I didn't adopt her. Besides, we have different fathers."

    Took the guys about 20 minutes to figure this out.

    Bottom line here: not all families have kids to raise. I wish society would grap that.

    The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

    by irishwitch on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 11:02:48 AM PST

    •  TWO marriages--and my first husband died (0+ / 0-)

      The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

      by irishwitch on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 01:54:10 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I don't think you have to have kids to be a family (0+ / 0-)

      Tell me, give me a phrase or a definition, about your family, and I think that would be wonderful.

      •  I was referring to the people who did (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        the study, not you GreenMother.   And since, as several people pointed out, it was done by a conservtaive group--they generally do NOT recognize couples without kids as real families.  I've run into this far too often. My in-laws tend to regard us that way--at least the older SiL does.  VERY authoritarian Christian type.  

        My husband was also military.  Just before he deployed the first time (1990, lead-up to Gulf Insanity Take One), he was sent to ME. I remained in Jacksonville FL whereI had a job, since he was due to deploy within a month or two of getting there; it just made sense for him to be a geographical bachelor till he got back. So by the time he finally returned from a deployment that was extended because he was in Saudi in that lead-up, he'd been gone nearly a year.  He wanted leave to come home for Christmas. His  supervisor refused to sign off on it, citing "doesn't have a family so he doesn't need leave" as the reason. My husband insisted the leave request/chit be sent up the chain of command anyway--and he got hsi leave. But that attitude is all too common.

        No kids? You're just a couple, so you can work every holiday to allow the people with families time to be with them. It gets old very fast. And, yes, I resent that attitude, because we are a very closely entwined couple who spend a lot of time together )my SiL says we're co-dependent, but she's been divorced three times ) and actually enjoy each other's company.  

        The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

        by irishwitch on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 07:57:21 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

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