It Takes a Village: Alternatives to the Nuclear Family and How the Traditional Model Fails Us




McMurphy, Lauren

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The nuclear family is not as friendly of an institution as we have been led to believe. Able to survive only by denying important resources to, and exploiting vulnerable parties- it is by examining the darker history of the nuclear family and its consistent recreation of racism, sexism, homophobia and transphobia that we can see the family style is unsustainable. However, there are other alternatives to this family style, called intentional communities, that provide tangible solutions to these systematic threats. By eliminating the isolation that allows abuse to thrive in the nuclear family, intentional communities provide diverse resources such as shared labor, skills, and a network of financial and emotional support that is the commonwealth of all of its members. Instead of family’s fighting for resources and exploiting one another- intentional communities provide the framework for tribes to raise each other up.



nuclear family, family studies, alternative family, LGBT family, intentional community, communes, social capital, Honors College


McMurphy, L. A. (2020). It takes a village: Alternatives to the nuclear family and how the traditional model fails us (Unpublished thesis). Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas.


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