Family and the Well-being Society. How to Build a Family Friendly Society, 1999
The crises of the systems of social security in many developed countries has often asked for radical operations of change, as well as for re-definition of the concept of “well-being”.
Advanced welfare state systems intended to promote a citizenship in which the condition of well- being was considered as uneliminable right of every person. The Report intercepts this remark on well- being using an original point of view, “external” as compared to the discussion between public and private, between state and free market interventions, between individual freedom and common good. The Report highlightens how any remark on personal and collective well-being can not leave aside the family dimension.
The analyses here proposed, underlines a fundamental distinction between individual and family well-being. The social interventions intended to support the well-being of persons and families often risk to accentuate the separation between the different spheres of life and to dispossess family systems from their relational capabilities instead of promoting the quality and the family well-being.
In this way, the welfare state lost exactly that supportive subject, the family, which it had intended to protect, and on which base it could pursuing large part of its goals.
Even today, the welfare state does not see how large part of its failures derives exactly of having eroded the basis of family solidarity.
The actual challenge concerns thus the social as well as the family sphere: society is asked to “ know how to watch “ the family, while respecting the its laws, internal dynamics and values.
The families are asked to know how to open towards the external context, to know how to enlarge its relational network, how to build an interface with the external sphere, assuming its own responsibility of participation at the res publica, and of the generation of common good.
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