Trajectory Trends Breakfast 31.07.14: The Disturbing Truth about the Modern Family

9th Jul, 2014

Thursday 31st July 2014 – 08.30 – 09.30

Happenstance, 1a Ludgate Hill, London EC4M 7AA

The July 2014 Trajectory Trends Breakfast takes place in the middle of the Great British Summer, traditionally a time when the media reflects on the tensions surrounding a family holiday.

This is part of a wider narrative of decline in relation to the traditional family unit and the negative impact this has on communities and on society at large. You might argue that the family has become a poster-child for David Cameron’s Broken Britain (with apologies to Plan B).

And of course the nature of the contemporary family unit is changing; including single-parent and multi-ethnic households, same sex couples, step-parents, second families and more. The narrative of decline would have us believe that all such developments are an unwelcome deviation from the idealised (Christian) norm.

The essence of the critique is typically around the impact on the children involved, principally a loss of discipline and control, or perhaps the absence of suitable role-models. Ultimately any negative story around contemporary youth can be traced back to the breakdown of the family.

Allied to the deleterious impact of socio-demographic change is the alleged negative impact of consumer technology – from the radio to the TV, the VCR, the PC, the laptop, the Walkman, the DVD player, the mobile phone, the smartphone and beyond. Less is said about the (presumably positive) impact of labour saving technologies such as the hoover, washing machine or dish washer.

So what is the truth: How important is family to people in the UK today? How crucial is family to personal identity? How influential is the family on consumption decisions? How much time do parents spend with their children today? What do parents do with the time they spend with their children?

It’s a fascinating subject to explore and we very much hope that you will join us for what is sure to be a stimulating hour of discussion. As ever we don’t claim to have all of the answers, perhaps not even all of the questions but we look forward to sharing our thoughts and joining the debate.

To book your place simply mail Michael Brennan @

You can also download a free copy of our Trajection The Modern Family and the Changing World, here.