Laura Pigozzi questions the myth of the natural family and reflects on its contemporary cultural status, where the family is seen as the “navel of the world”. She denounces the failure of a model that has led to an overestimation of blood ties, to the idea of motherhood as a natural destiny, to the construction of claustrophilic ties: parental narcissism that produces a sort of psychological kidnapping of the children.
The idea of the family as “navel of the world” is now all the more rampant, despite appearances and despite those family patterns that seem to have been expanded and questioned. Under the unconventional gaze of the author, even apparently different patterns show the attraction to a sort of “normality” guaranteed by a “claustrophilic” bond with the children. The world is thus sucked into the family, that becomes a hyper-satisfying and all-inclusive unity in which one tends to fulfil all needs, even those that are anthropologically referred to the relationship with the outside world, with the group and the community.
With her sharp critical analysis, the use of case studies drawn from her profession and a broad spectrum of references ranging from the Bible to psychoanalysis, from literature to cinema, from law to chronicle, the author analyzes the various forms in which this model is expressed, through a wide variety of phenomena: the “maternal” obsession and the symbiotic relationship, the family “claustrophilia”, the Pygmalion parent, the difficult fate of fatherhood, the “social” inertia of the child.
Laura Pigozzi breaks the suffocating rhetoric of the family and that of a certain type of motherhood and parenting that afflict us so pervasively, showing how “the true parentage is to have received from one’s parents the opportunity to leave them.”