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David Brooks: The Nuclear Family Was a Mistake

David Brooks argues cogently that the nuclear family – 2.0 parents and 2.4 children – is a historical aberration, a blip that worked only in the 1950s and from which society is yet to fully recover.

It’s a challenging piece, but not without its positivity. Individuals cast adrift by society’s insistence on the nuclear family are, Brooks argues, increasingly finding refuge in “forged families”, kin relationships formed with those outside their immediate, biological family:

“These forged families have a feeling of determined commitment. The members of your chosen family are the people who will show up for you no matter what. On Pinterest you can find placards to hang on the kitchen wall where forged families gather: ‘Family isn’t always blood. It’s the people in your life who want you in theirs; the ones who accept you for who you are. The ones who would do anything to see you smile & who love you no matter what.’”