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How Japan's stress on teamwork has created a civilised society but a weak economy-and children who cannot win at musical chairs
Nicholas D Kristof  

Girl power in China

China's one-child policy has had a profound and unintended consequence: the rise of educated, ambitious single women. This is China's equivalent of the western women's liberation movement in the 1960s
Lesley Downer  

The camping holiday

My father was an unhappy man, silent and angry. Luckily, we were seldom in his company. Then we went camping

We are family

The family is facing the future in better shape than statistics about single-person households and high rates of divorce suggest. Family ties remain strong, but the shape of the family is changing as we find new solutions to suit changing…
Christina Hardyment  

The missing children

Where have all the families gone? Robert Winder wonders why great literature, which is supposed to address universal truths, ignores children, parenthood and family life. But this may be changing. Writers no longer consider it beneath them to write about…
Robert Winder  

A brief history of the sex war

First men controlled women, then women broke free. Men were horrible to women, then women were horrible to men in their turn. Now we have a kind of matriarchy. Are men redundant? Are women happy?
Fay Weldon  

Living with adultery

Under the old code of behaviour, if you committed adultery you kept it discreet and people pretended not to notice. This hyprocrisy worked, says Jonathan Rauch-it discouraged infidelity while accommodating human nature. Now adulterers like Bill Clinton are legally pursued…
Jonathan Rauch  

Family and kinship revisited

The financial squeeze on the state means that British welfare is returning to its roots in informal mutual aid. Michael Young and Gerard Lemos say that a virtue can be made of this necessity, especially in the field of social…
Gerard Lemos  

The roots of personality

How parents behave towards their children may have much less influence on their personalities than most of us assume. Jerome Burne reviews research which suggests that genetic inheritance together with peer group pressure is what really counts
Jerome Burne