Family Anthropo-Gazing

It’s hard to look through the eyes of families how they work, how they remember and correct themselves when their harmony and continuity are in danger.

Little research has been done how do families, over more generations, reproduce and balance successfully between change and continuity. Early, 1890-1940, anthropological ethnographies (descriptions of traditional cultures) frequently mapped the relationship between the individual-family-community and vice versa.

Yet this “trias cultura’, even in the ‘Culture and Personality’ movement, never became a systematic research theme among anthropologists.

The anthropologist Gregory Bateson, in his biological system theory, was one of the founders of western family-systemic therapy. His conceptual foundations of human communication always include interaction between individuals, families and communities.

The current family therapy has no systemic attention to how a boy or girl, through their mothers and fathers families, their local, religious, regional (ethnic) communities become part of national (Dutch) culture.

Current psychological and sociological studies find rarely systematic pay no attention to this trias cultura.

The book ‘The Ancestor Syndrome’ (1999) of drama-systemic therapist Anne Ancelin Schuetzenberger contains many stories on how painful events from previous generations, as invisible patterns, reiterate in individuals and families here and now.

In their books about ‘Protective Wrapping’ (2007; 2010; 2013; 2015) Dutch family therapist Kitlyn Tjin A Djie & sociologist Irene Zwaan describe their co-learning processes with many youth care professionals to look, transcultural and transgenerational, through the eyes of families.

In ‘Family Soul‘ (2103 in Dutch) they offer people’s wonderful narratives. When people ‘know’ more about their cultural family history it can ‘heal/reintegrate’ them so that they can continue their life with more love and beauty.

In this abstract a first glimpse of the idea and conception of Family and Community Continuity in Permanence and Transition (Paper presented in UK in 2015)