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The Golden Chain

The Golden Chain: Family, Civil Society and the State

Jürgen Nautz
Paul Ginsborg
Ton Nijhuis
Copyright Date: 2013
Edition: 1
Published by: Berghahn Books
Pages: 324
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  • Book Info
    The Golden Chain
    Book Description:

    The family can be viewed as one of the links in a "golden chain" connecting individuals, the private sphere, civil society, and the democratic state; as potentially an important source of energy for social activity; and as the primary institution that socializes and diffuses the values and norms that are of fundamental importance for civil society. Yet much of the literature on civil society pays very little attention to the complex relations between civil society and the family. These two spheres constitute a central element in democratic development and culture and form a counterweight to some of the most distressing aspects of modernity, such as the excessive privatization of home life and the unceasing work-and-spend routines. This volume offers historical perspectives on the role of families and their members in the processes of a liberal and democratic civil society, the question of boundaries and intersections of the private and public domains, and the interventions of state institutions.

    eISBN: 978-0-85745-471-3
    Subjects: Political Science, Sociology, History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. List of Figures and Tables
    (pp. vii-viii)
  4. Acknowledgements
    (pp. ix-ix)
  5. Editor’s Preface
    (pp. x-xii)
    Dieter Gosewinkel and Jürgen Kocka
  6. Part I. Introduction and Overview

    • Introduction
      (pp. 3-16)
      Jürgen Nautz, Paul Ginsborg and Ton Nijhuis

      As a first approximation, civil society can be described as a societal space, which lies between the state, the economy and the private sphere, characterised by voluntary collective activities which are usually organised around shared values, interests and purposes (Cohen and Arato 1992: 74; Habermas: 1989). But this is only one dimension of the – not uncontested – concept of civil society used by the Civil Society Network (CiSoNet), which was responsible for the workshop on family, civil society and the State which took place in 2005 at the NIAS in Wassenaar in the Netherlands (www. The CiSoNet has worked with...

    • Chapter 1 Uncharted Territories: Individuals, Families, Civil Society and the Democratic State
      (pp. 17-40)
      Paul Ginsborg

      The relationships between family and civil society are both under theorised and under researched. There are almost no works which take these relationships as their methodological point of departure, or which utilise them systematically in their reconstruction of given societies or historical periods. While there are a plethora of studies which concentrate on civil society–state relations, and very many which treat of the relationship between states and families (above all in the realm of public policy), there are few which deal with family–civil society relations, and even fewer which try to keep in the forefront of their explanatory...

  7. Part II. Feminist Historical Views

    • Chapter 2 Gendered Boundaries: Civil Society, the Public/Private Divide and the Family
      (pp. 43-65)
      Karen Hagemann

      With this statement, Carol Pateman began the chapter on ‘Feminist Critique of the Public/Private Dichotomy’ in her 1989 classic,The Disorder of Women. Since then, two decades of intensive debate about this dichotomy and its political functions have passed. Feminist critiques were and are directed primarily at the separation and opposition between the public and the private sphere in liberal theory and practice, which – in the words of one Enlightenment writer – assigned ‘man the public and woman the domestic sphere, man the universal and woman the particular, man the business of the world and woman the affairs of the family’...

    • Chapter 3 The Family, Civil Society and Social Policy: A US Perspective
      (pp. 66-85)
      Sonya Michel

      Thinking about the question of the family, civil society and social policy is likely to begin – as do many questions regarding civil society – with Jürgen Habermas. In a well-known section ofThe Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, he offers a bleak account of the impact of the modern welfare state on the family, and, in turn, on the public sphere (1991: 157, 155).¹ Under late capitalism, the family’s loss not only of its productive but also of its reproductive capacities, ‘the functions of upbringing and education, protection, care, and guidance – indeed, of the transmission of elementary tradition and frameworks...

    • Chapter 4 Feminist Mobilisation and Family Change: A Case Study of a Grassroots Women’s Organisation in Quebec: The AFEAS (1966–1989)
      (pp. 86-98)
      Anne Revillard

      Family issues are a target of mobilisation for various organised groups within civil society. Some explicitly label themselves as ‘family movements’. Others, such as some women’s groups, tackle family issues without identifying themselves primarily as family based. The focus of this chapter is on the border between family movements and feminist movements. While familialism and feminism are often theoretically defined as contradictory values (Commaille 1993), my aim is to shed light on their possible coexistence in actual social movements. A singlwomen’s organisation may shift from a conservative promotion of family values to a defence of women’s rights as individuals, as...

  8. Part III Family and Society in South and Western Europe:: Case Studies

    • Chapter 5 Corporate Birthmarks of Civil Society: Kinship and Kinship Networks in Voluntary Associations, 1800–1848
      (pp. 101-119)
      Carola Lipp

      Cultural meaning very often reveals itself through misunderstandings in everyday interactions. When I first presented an earlier version of this essay to the organisers of the CiSoNet conference, it bore the title ‘Kinship, Kinship Networks and Civil Society’. On the program, however, it appeared as ‘Family, Family Networks and Civil Society’. This adaptation of the key wordfamilypoints directly to a central problem in the theory and practice of civil society: the denial of kinship (Harrison 2002). Kinship seems to be antithetical to the structures of civil society. In social theory, kinship is usually ascribed to pre-modern societies, while...

    • Chapter 6 State, Society and Family Change in Twentieth-Century Spain: The Evolution of the ‘Strong Family Model’
      (pp. 120-143)
      Elisa Chuliá

      Spain, like other West European countries after the Second World War, has witnessed a weakening of the prevailing family model in recent decades.¹ Increasing cohabitation, later marriage and a sharp decrease in fertility rates, as well as a growing variety of family types have eroded, although with a certain delay, the primacy of the ‘traditional’ family consisting of two biological parents – breadwinner father and housekeeper mother – with children. Nevertheless, together with other Mediterranean countries, Spain continues to be considered as a paradigm of the so-called ‘strong family model’ which is characterised by the existence of robust kinship ties and significant...

    • Chapter 7 The Foundation of Civilised Society: Family and Social Policy in Britain and Italy between 1946 and 1960
      (pp. 144-168)
      Stefania Bernini

      The whole area of family–civil society relations awaits exploration. Very few authors have focused on these relations and those who have done so usually tried to establish what sorts of families, family organisation and culture are best suited for fostering civil society. This chapter seeks to explore the reverse side of this relationship. I ask what part – if any – does civil society and its institutions play in shaping our understanding of the family, its role and social function, and what part does civil society play vis-à-vis the state. The question, from which this chapter moves, may sound obvious. However,...

    • Chapter 8 Children and Civil Society
      (pp. 169-194)
      John Keane

      Can children become full members of a civil society? Do they have the capacity to enjoy its rights of association and property, legal protection and citizens’ powers to vote for representatives of their choice, in free and fair elections?

      In countries otherwise as different as France, the United States and Japan, most people think not, for reasons that are woven firmly into the fabric of contemporary common sense definitions of civil society and childhood. Citizens are said to belong to a civil society and political community of common laws, and to share its entitlements and duties equally with other grown-ups....

  9. Part IV. State and Changing Families in Eastern Europe and the Middle East

    • Chapter 9 The Failures of Modernity: Family, Civil Society and State in the Passage from Ottoman Empire to Turkish Republic
      (pp. 197-218)
      Ayşe Saraçgil

      This chapter deals with the failures of the Ottoman and Turkish modernising elites of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries to put the three elements family, civil society and state in a virtuous relationship which could have permitted the growth of a public sphere, free institutions and democracy. I believe that this is not just a political question in the narrow sense. It is also one heavily dependent on cultural dimensions and on relations in the private sphere. In this respect, the historian’s sensibility must be directed towards a series of complicated interactions: between Ottoman imperial structures and institutions on...

    • Chapter 10 Israel and Palestine through Family, Civil Society and State: An Overview
      (pp. 219-239)
      Marcella Simoni

      The relationship between family, civil society and state in Palestine/Israel can be viewed as a mirror of the process of economic, social and political transformation experienced by the country and its inhabitants during the twentieth century; it can also be seen as a key to read the complex series of events which led to the foundation of the State of Israel and to the PalestinianNakba(the catastrophe). The chain of causes resulting in such an outcome in 1948 cannot be attributed only to the predominance of civil society and/or of the family within the two competing Zionist and Arab-Palestinian...

    • Chapter 11 Gendered Boundaries between the State, Family and Civil Society: The Case of Poland after 1989
      (pp. 240-259)
      Elżbieta Korolczuk

      What comes to your mind, when you come across the word ‘Poland’? Strange country somewhere between Russia and Germany, not truly a ‘European’ one, but gradually becoming a part of Europe? The Pope maybe, and strong Catholic traditions, sad-faced Madonnas and crosses at the sides of badly maintained roads? Or the Solidarity movement, one of the most spectacular examples of civil society that emerged under communist rule?

      Solidarity became a symbol of the forces that successfully initiated political and social transformation in the region. Many hoped that it would set an example of how civil society should function in Poland...

    • Chapter 12 Family Structures and Civil Society Perspectives in Present-Day Serbia
      (pp. 260-279)
      Dragica Vujadinović

      In order to present the Serbian situation with regard to family life and (its mutual relation with) civil society development, it is necessary to bear in mind the historical conditions in the former Yugoslavia before the 1990s, as well as in contemporary Serbia during the last decade of twentieth century. Here the process of decomposition of Serbian society and its impact on changing family structures and the thwarting of any development of civil society are particularly relevant. It is equally necessary to outline the positive anti-patriarchal trends in Serbian (ex-Yugoslav) family life, gender relations and civil society development that had...

  10. Notes on Contributors
    (pp. 280-286)
  11. Index
    (pp. 287-292)