Bergmann’s Feedback to Becker’s Theory of Family

1. Introduction

Barbara R. Bergmann has given her response to Gary Becker’s theory of family, criticizing his approaches to the analysis of polygamy, altruism in the family, fertility and social problems. She believes that his theory is “a great start” but there are some “glaring omissions”.

2. Bergmann’s Feedback to Becker’s Theory of Family

2.1. Polygamy

Bergmann claims that polygamy cannot be analyzed using the methods proposed by Becker because it is “not simply an economic problem”. She believes that polygamy is a social problem which should be solved by means of social engineering, not by economic analysis.

2. 2. Altruism in the family

Becker’s theory of altruism in the family is based on the assumption that parents are interested in the welfare of their children only because they expect them to take care of them in their old age. Bergmann believes that this assumption is too narrow and does not take into account the fact that parents may be interested in the welfare of their children for other reasons as well (e.g., because they love them).

2. 3. Fertility

Bergmann criticizes Becker’s approach to fertility, claiming that it does not take into account the fact that people may want to have children for reasons other than economic ones (e.g., emotional reasons).

2. 4. Social problems

Becker’s theory of social problems is based on the assumption that people are rational and self-interested. Bergmann believes that this assumption is too narrow and does not take into account the fact that people may also be affected by emotional factors (e.g., empathy).

3. Conclusion

In conclusion, Bergmann’s feedback to Becker’s theory of family is mostly critical but she does acknowledge that it is “a great start”. She believes that there are some “glaring omissions” in his theory but overall she finds it to be a helpful contribution to the understanding of families.

FAQ

Bergman's feedback to Becker's theory of family helps us understand her own theoretical perspective by providing a critical evaluation of the work. In particular, Bergman highlights the ways in which Becker's theory fails to adequately account for the role of emotion in social life.

The implications of Bergman's critique for future research on families and households are twofold. First, it suggests that future research should pay closer attention to the role of emotion in social life. Second, it highlights the need for more nuanced and sophisticated theories of family and household formation.

How might Bergman's feedback contribute to our understanding of the role of preposterousness in social life more generally? By demonstrating the importance of accounting for emotion in social life, Bergman's feedback contributes to our understanding of how preposterousness can often be a driving force behind social interaction.