Staff Reporter

Experts voice concern over dysfunctions

CHENNAI: Dysfunctional families are one of the primary reasons for the lack of world peace as the family is a fortress of civilisation, said Catherine Bernard, founder-director, Service and Research Foundation of Asia on Family and Culture (SERFAC) at the World Congress on the Family 2006, being held in the city.

Dr. Bernard said the family unit is "a nation in miniature" where human values are passed on. The decline in nuclear families could be attributed to globalisation. Economic compulsions obligated individuals to migrate to other geographical territories, which led to family dysfunction.

Adverse effect

Anna University Vice-Chancellor D. Viswanathan said the challenges to the family today had an adverse effect on youth.

However, he noted that there were relatively fewer broken families in India than other parts of the world and attributed this to the Indian culture.

He said that each country should "maintain its culture" as mixed culture led to confrontations, adding that Anna University's strict dress code was a step towards preserving Indian culture.

Microcosm

H.B. Danesh, a psychologist from Canada, said there were three reasons that argued for the abolishment of the family - it was a source of control, a source of dominance and abuse of women, and it sanctioned inequality of the sexes.

It had failed to educate children who had descended to a condition of conflict and violence.

But, the family was also a microcosm of the world, Dr. Danesh said adding that it was an arena for the development of individuals and the means through which new generations were trained.

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