Who are You? Family, Politics, and the Hunger for Identity

May 20, 2022 | Podcast, The Moral Imagination

In the episode I speak with Mary Eberstadt about her latest book Primal Screams: How the Sexual Revolution Created Identity Politics. She argues that the revolutionary changes to family structure across the western world: fatherlessness, divorce, abortion, single parent homes, the shrinking of the family –have caused deep hurt in people and that many of the social problems we face today are manifestations of a “primal scream” for belonging.

 Eberstadt explains that the breakdown of the family has resulted in a widespread subtraction: we have a much smaller protective infrastructure around us than our ancestors did. While many people connect family decline to individual things like loneliness or educational achievement, it also has large macro impacts. She argues that primary cause of political rage, identity politics, gender confusion, and more is rooted in the breakdown of the family and people’s struggle to answer the question “Who am I?”  

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