Notes on the Retreat of Death in Modernity and the Effects on Generational and Gender Relations
This is part of my reading notes books (2006), but unfortunately, I did not seem to take note of the source in this case, though it is in the proximity of my notes to a book by Andre Gorz. (L'immateriel)
Notes from Michel Bauwens:
In 1750, 30% of infants would not survive their first year, and half would die before the age of six. Old people deceasing were a minority, as the average lifespan was in the thirties. Thus death was at the center of social life, and mothers and chidren were totally focused on survival
This has now changed, and the cultural consequences are major.
- 1) a psychology of immaturity and narcissism has developed, lasting well into the fifth decade of life (forties) - 2) after 75 starts a life of depression, when all one's friends start dying - 3) currently, children are the fruit of desire and sex is dissociated from childbirth and marriage.
But as a consequence, there is an unspoken dialogue between generations, with the child saying: I am the fruit of your desire, so how can you be opposed to my desire. This is the cause of the difficulty of an education based on forbidding.
Children are no longer part of a lineage, and hardly have brothers and sisters; they know that they will live. This has broken the humility of children, and led to an over-investment in them.
It also means that women, who have freed themselves being subjected to child-rearing, have replaced with an over-investment in their children.