Shared Obliviousness in Family by Paul C. Rosenblatt

By Paul C. Rosenblatt

Introduces the concept that of obliviousness to the honor of family members systems--what do households decide to forget about and why and the way they accomplish that.

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So obliviousness is, in that sense, nonrelationship. Thus, if a system is oblivious to certain events or phenomena there is no capacity in the system to control or use whatever comes from those events or phenomena. And conversely, if a system has no capacity to use or control a certain body of information, then obliviousness to that information makes perfect sense. On a related line of argument, thinking of family systems holistically demands that we understand how obliviousness is meaningfully linked to the other elements of the systems.

At least some family members may have a sense that dropping shared obliviousness about a matter may lead to great unpleasantness. For example, they may have a sense that there is something in the history of how Grandfather acquired his wealth that would be unpleasant to know, and so without knowing what it is they are oblivious to, they work together to share obliviousness about the matter. Or some family members may have a sense that understanding the details of what is in their food and how it got there could be horrifying, and so in that topic area, even though they do not know what they are oblivious to, they work hard to maintain shared obliviousness.

24 Shared Obliviousness in Family Systems Keeping Busy Families generally have multiple, more or less compelling ways to keep their members busy. It might, for example, be housework and yard work; it might be active participation in a religious congregation; it might be putting long hours in at work; it might be busy involvement in the lives of children or grandchildren; it might be keeping up with the family’s favorite television programs. All the ways of keeping busy that are part of a family’s life can be said to reflect family values and investments of time and energy.

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