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Abstract 摘要

This paper explores the social and cultural implications of different conceptions of marriage and family life. It compares traditional understandings of marriage and family, set within particular religions and cultures, to a Western secular liberal understanding, which seeks to recast marriage as a sort of egalitarian social contract between autonomous individuals. Rather than appreciating the family as a normative form of social being constituted around the monogamous marriage of husband and wife and their own biological (and perhaps adopted) children, here the family is to be appreciated as an institution legally to be molded more closely in line with currently popular Western principles of social justice and gender neutrality. Claims regarding individual autonomy, gender neutrality, and rights to sexual freedom have come to possess a commanding place within the West’s recasting of the family.

本文探討關於婚姻與家庭生活的不同觀念的社會及文化意義,比較對於婚姻與家庭生活的兩種不同的理解。傳統的理解是契合於具體的宗教與文化之中的,而當代西方俗世的自由主義理解則尋求將婚姻重塑為自主個人之間的一種平等主義的社會契約。前者把家庭視為社會存在的一種規範形式,是圍繞著一夫一妻制婚姻以及他們的生物學子女(甚或收養子女)而形成的;而後者則把家庭看作符合於當代西方流行的社會公正及性別中立原則而合法構成的機構。

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