Brenda Almond throws down a timely challenge to liberal consensus about personal relationships. She maintains that the traditional family is fragmenting in Western societies, and that this fragmentation is a cause of serious social problems. She urges that we reconsider our attitudes to sex and reproduction in order to strengthen our most important social institution, the family, which is the key to ensuring healthy relationships between parents and children and a secure upbringing for the citizens of the future.
Anyone who is concerned about how the framework of society is changing, anyone who has to face difficult personal decisions about parenthood or family relationships, will find this book compelling. It may disturb deep convictions, or offer an unwelcome message; but it is compassionate as well as controversial.
Introduction PART I. UNDERSTANDING FAMILY: PHILOSOPHY'S CONTRIBUTION 1. The family 2. Permanent relations? Love, marriage and philosophical lives 3. From philosophy to law 4. Feminist aims, family consequences PART II. SHAPING FAMILIES: SCIENCE'S CONTRIBUTION 5. Having and not having children 6. New reproductive technologies: Whose human rights? PART III. NEW FRONTIERS: FAMILY, LAW AND POLITICS 7. Family choices: what do children really want? 8. Law, policy-making and the contemporary family PART IV. PRESERVING IDENTITIES: A FUTURE FOR THE FAMILY? 9. Family, identity, and community 10. Finding a way through the wood