Not Normal As New Normal

Not Normal As New Normal

One of the most important changes at the social level that directly affects business life is the state of being abnormal. “Normal” has ceased to be exactly the norm and has become an ever-expanding set of possibilities. To put it concretely: everything that exists today is “normal”.

The incorporation of the concept of diversity, which expanded the male-female binary to more than 50 gender types, destroying all the ways we previously categorize people, contributed to the democratization of beauty where there was no external ideal to be reached. Beauty, which is now valid and defined as the own and distinctive feature of each person, is the two pillars that mark the beginning of a change that goes beyond individual identity and are transferred to the rings.

In 2004 sociologist Vern Bengtson gave a lecture in which he predicted that multi-generational ties will be on the rise in the 21st century. Bengtson, who spent years studying 300 families in California for generations, rejected the notion that the decline of the nuclear family model (mother, father, and children) was bad for society. Bengtson theorized that these changes could be financially and emotionally positive and protective. “For many Americans, multi-generational ties are becoming more important than nuclear family ties for well-being and support throughout their lives,” he wrote.

The New York Times published a note here, she explains, more and more young adults are moving in with their grandparents on a train known as “generation skipping” homes. Reasons include economic problems and proximity to the university, as well as redefining the bond between grandparents and grandchildren. “Both sides of the age division come to the table with their own skills. Grandchildren can unravel the mystery of smartphones, Twitter, and online bill payment, making teens feel useful in a relationship. They can help the person they love.” In contrast, your grandparents can share family traditions and recipes, give your grandchildren insight into their roots and a sense of perspective, they’ve already gotten through recessions and other personal issues.

The note details several testimonies of young people living with their grandparents who positively explained the re-signification of the bond, seeing them from a new perspective, and discovering previously invisible touchpoints since childhood. “They would tell me stories about my great-aunts and uncles and their experiences of coming to the United States. My grandfather was an architect and drew me a floor plan for his family’s house in the Philippines. During the years I lived in the apartment with them, I knew him as a rather forgetful and TV-sitting man, but I could also see that he was someone with a full career and another life.

Intergenerational family relationships are becoming more and more important in society. They are also increasingly diverse in structure and function. By the nuclear family as the norm, we understand that the family has a variety of possible structures: two-parent, single-parent, step-by-step, adoptive, grandparent, childless, and optional. Since there is no single family form, there are no “perverse or wrong” forms. Bengston explains that the growth of intergenerational families is the result of:

Demographic changes of population aging resulting in “more symbiosis years” between generations.

The increasing importance of grandparents and other relatives in the fulfillment of family functions.

The strength and durability of intergenerational solidarity over time. -Diversity of “types” of intergenerational relations.

Personally, I was aware of co-parenting (choosing to have a child with friends or another person with no sexual or emotional attachment) as one of the latest developments in the process of redefining the family. A month ago, I heard a 31-year-old say that more and more acquaintances around her were choosing one person to have a child and another to raise her. Last week, 23-year-old Luna told me she was going to donate eggs, and she was surprised, “They even give you a contribution,” she explained. I asked him why he was doing this (obviously not for money) and he told me it was to help others she said. She also said she didn’t understand her 55-year-old mother’s decision and asked if she was worried that tomorrow “he” would have a child he didn’t know. So what did you answer him? -I asked him- He told me very clearly “I said he is not my son, I said as if I am going to donate kidney or blood, it is not mine, it already belongs to the other person, he is not my son”. I found his analysis both disturbing and fascinating, and I realized one obvious thing: there is no break in the continuity between the thinking of a 20-year-old and a 40-year-old. The illiterate in the 21st century, as futurologist Alvin Toffler predicted.

Individual changes—the redefinition of identity—spanning into collective changes—the expansion of the concept of family and types of bonds—have far more impact than changes in consumption and distribution. It is the transformations in the organization of society that redefine the subjective position of companies vis-à-vis consumers. Society changes when we change what shames us. Clarifying what we do as companies and why we do it is the first step to making it better.

Fashion comes and goes, but some changes tend to flow in one direction. The real challenge is not to confuse one with the other.

With Daniela De Sousa MendesBusiness and Management Consultant for Fashion and Beauty companies.

#Normal #Normal

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