The Home
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The Home

Multidisciplinary Reflections

Edited by Antonio Argandoña

In the first major work to take the home as a center of analysis for global social problems, experts from a variety of fields reveal the multidimensional reality of the home and its role in societies worldwide. This unique book serves as a basis for action by proposing global legislative, political and institutional initiatives with the home in mind.
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Chapter 6: The family and economic theorizing

Stefano Zamagni


This chapter argues that mainstream economics cannot provide an adequate theoretical set-up to deal with the family conceived as the place (as in the home) where nature and culture cohabit and where interpersonal relations are founded upon the principle of reciprocity. To defend such a thesis, the chapter advances a substantive, not formal, definition of the family, focusing on its constitutive elements. Then, it discusses which premises of value should be accepted if one wants to pursue policies that focus on the family as such rather than the individual living in a family. Finally, the chapter indicates the most important practical consequences stemming from the acceptance of those premises. The final section points to some ways forward.

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