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Universidad de Navarra

The challenges of the family in the XXI Century

On the initiative of the Office of the Vice President for Research, the ICS coordinated an interdisciplinary conference in which speakers from the Humanities, Communication, Architecture, Law, Nursing, Education and Psychology, Theology, the University Hospital of Navarra and the ICS participated

The University of Navarra organized the Family and Society in the Twenty-first Century workshop in order to create a meeting point for researchers that address related issues from disciplines such as history, audiovisual communication, architecture, law, health, education, theology and public discourse. The workshop was coordinated by the Institute for Culture and Society (ICS) on the initiative of the Office of the Vice President for Research and structured around three themes, including (1) Social changes and cultural narratives of the family in the twenty-first century, (2) Normative approaches to the family, and (3) Family, education and health. Speakers included researchers from the humanities, communication, architecture, law, nursing, education and psychology, theology, the University of Navarra's Hospital and the Institute for Culture and Society. A specialist from the University of Oxford also participated.

Theme 1

Social changes and cultural narratives of the family in the twenty-first century 

Theme 2

Normative approaches to the family 

Theme 3

Family, education and health

Ana Zabalza, from the University of Navarra's Department of History, History of Art and Geography, gave the first presentation entitled, "A Foreign Country: The transformation of domestic space from pre-industrial society to the twenty-first century." In it, she presented the transformations that the family has undergone since preindustrial times and especially reflected on the changing conditions of life and work, which include changes in the domestic sphere and the emergence of wage employment.

Javier García-Manglano, from the University of Oxford, then intervened with a presentation on "Safety Concerns, Intensive Parenting, and the Rise in Childcare Time in 11 Industrialized Countries, 1980 to 2008." The expert shed light on why the time parents report spending with their children has increased, data that originates from the Multinational Time Use Study conducted in eleven industrialized countries (Australia, Germany, Canada, Spain, Finland, the Netherlands, Italy, Norway, the United Kingdom, Sweden and the United States of America). As he indicated, the results suggest that this increase corresponds to the widening of certain parenting styles.

Meanwhile, Maria Noguera Tajadura, from the Department of Audiovisual Culture and Communication, addressed the "Father Figure's Recreational Activities in Recent Film." She reflected on the revaluation of the father figure in contemporary cinema from the point of view of character creation.

The next presentation, "A Sustainable City for a Sustainable Family," corresponded to the LOUCAS Group from the School of Architecture and brought together several authors, including Aurora Barrio, María Antonia Frías, Purificación González, Inmaculada Jimenez and Ana Sánchez-Ostiz. These researchers reminded the audience that cities are at the service of citizens and it should be a priority to build sustainable cities for sustainable family life, concentrating on three fundamental perspectives: environmental, social and economic.

After these presentations, a panel discussion took place and Carolina Montoro, Professor of Human Geography and a member of the conference's academic committee, moderated it.



Javier Fajardo, from the Area of Civil Law, spoke on "Freedom of Choice and Marital Stability." In his presentation he referred to some possible contractual strategies to promote marital stability, such as prenuptial agreements in anticipation of rupture, how jurisprudence is reacting to them and how far it can have an influence on marital stability.

Meanwhile, Elena Íñigo Corroza, from the Department of Public Law and Basic Legal Institutions, focused on "Family, Kinship and Criminal Law." She explained that, while the Spanish Criminal Code contains no explicit protection of the family as an institution, in its regulation, it refers to a family relationship as a circumstance for which an offense may be more serious, more minor or go unpunished. According to the professor, criminal law has shown a confused response to the new social order in which different relationships are recognized from those that have traditionally existed and are compared to them. In her analysis, she tried to clarify the concepts of kinship and family that criminal law upholds and to shed light on the reasons for criminal policy that underlie the Spanish penal legislature's decision to label as kinship some relationships that are not so, as well as the consequences there from derived.

The last talk of this theme was "The Family, the Nucleus of the Civilization of Love in the Teaching of the Church since Vatican II." Pablo Martí del Moral, from the School of Theology, presented it, claiming that the Magisterium of the Church has often referred to the need to build a "civilization of love" as part of the Church's mission in the world and argued that conjugal love is at the basis of all chains of love, which, in their social dimension, build civilized community.

After the presentations a panel discussion took place and Javier Escrivá, Professor of Sate Ecclesiastical Law and a member of the conference's academic committee, moderated it.

Sonia Rivas, from the Department of Learning and Curriculum, School of Education and Psychology, spoke on "The Value of Family Life in Shaping Positive Intergenerational Relationships." In it, she analyzed the educational work that is generated through family life in shaping positive intergenerational relations.

"Care in the Family: An Educational Opportunity" came from Araceli Arellano and Nuria Garro, professors within the School of Education and Psychology. Starting with reflection on the experience of caring for families in situations of dependency, they stressed the need to promote, from the educational point of view, a culture of care and respect for diversity. The researchers argued that it is necessary to rethink and value how to integrate this kind formative need in educational, familiar and academic approaches in order to educate in care and respect for diversity and thus contribute to strengthening the social fabric.

The following presentation, from Nuria Esandi and Ana Canga, professors within the School of Nursing, was entitled, "Keeping Balance: Family Experience of Living With Early Stage Alzheimer's Disease." The researchers concluded that the early stages of Alzheimer present a challenge in balancing a family's normal functioning and identified family processes that offer ideas for developing a support system adapted to these early stages.

In the paper "The Family Identity Facing Mental Illness," Angela Dew Steel, Adrian Cano and Ana Canga, from the University of Navarra's Hospital, presented a research project on family identity in families with a member diagnosed with a serious mental illness. They detailed the analysis results in which they showed the significant effect of the disease on the family, the difficulties and suffering involved, and the strengthening aspects, such as the bonds of commitment, unconditional love... They concluded that mental illness is an experience that transforms the lives of families, tests what they are made of and, in many cases, strengthens them.

Ines Olza, a researcher within the ICS's Public Discourse project, gave the last presentation, which was entitled, "Communicating the Family Today."

At the end of the presentations, a panel discussion, moderated by Cristina García Vivar, Professor of Nursing and a member of the conference's academic committee, took place.


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