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TraversingEmbodied Lifeworlds in the Czech Republic$
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Susanna Trnka

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781501749223

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501749223.001.0001

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The New Europeans

The New Europeans

Twenty-First-Century Families as Sites for Self-Realization

(p.110) 4 The New Europeans

Susanna Trnka

Cornell University Press

This chapter gives an analysis of reproduction and the role of new technologies in creating and recreating contemporary families. It takes into account both Martin Heidegger's depiction of society as an alienating force and Jan Patocka's emphasis on the social foundations necessary for individuals to engage in “caring” for their “souls.” The chapter reflects on what the role of the family might be in providing possibilities for self-discovery or “self-realization.” Specifically, it examines how to reconcile the rise of new European family lifestyles with a strongly patriarchal culture that emphasizes women as pre-eminently talented in taking care of children and questions what the drawbacks are for men if the family cannot function as a site where they too can find a higher purpose in life. The chapter also considers the pressures and possibilities of creating identities that do not accede to the demands of twenty-first century capitalism.

Keywords:   new technologies, contemporary families, Martin Heidegger, Jan Patocka, self-realization, European family, capitalism

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