WHAT IS THE NAME OF WHAT MAKES FAMILIES TICK?
We all live in them, they facilitate our living over generations, we are born, grow old and die in them, we make love in them and our (grand)children are born in them.
Mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters, grandparents are all awaiting our births. And loved ones are present, watch and mourn over us when we are leaving this earth.
Families in more generations are, genetically and culturally, most influential for our individual lives.
We live in/with them even if we have few contacts and are at a distance. We have vast ‘reservoirs of knowledge’ about them but most of it is not directly accessible.
What are the forces which build and maintain our extended families and communities over three, ten, hundred and a thousand generations?
Where and how can we (re)gain access to our family archives to find practical wisdoms? In order to cherish and, when necessary, restore ‘domestic harmony’ instead of talking and coping with ‘domestic violence’?
What have (Western) social sciences to offer? During the last 150 years cultural and social anthropologists collected and analyzed thousands of ‘foreign small scale societies’ by doing ‘ethnography’.
In ethnographies we describe how groups of ‘uncivilized’ people live their lives over many generations outside the modern world and modernity.