All societies depend primarily upon the family for the socialization of children into adults who can function successful in that society. Thinkers from Plato to Huxley [1932, 1958) have speculated about other arrangements and dozens of experiments in communal child rearing have been attempted and abandoned, After the Russian Revolution, the Soviet Union experimented with removing children from, families to raise them in special child-care facilities, hoping to free their mothers for labor and to rear the children more "scientifically." But Russia never practiced this idea very widely, soon gave it up, and then did everything possible strengthener the family [Alt and Alt, 1959; Chao, 1977). In the Soviet Union and China today, school and family cooperate closely to socialize children for conformity, obedience, and altruism (Bronfenbrenner, 1970; Kessen, 1975; Che, 1979; Stacey, 1979; Von Frank, 1979]. In modem Israel, children in the kibbutz (cooperative farm) are raised in communal cottages and cared for by nursery workers while the other women work elsewhere in the kibbutz. Parents are normally with their children for a couple 'of hours a day and all day on Saturday. This communal rearing seems to work very successfully in the kibbutz [Bettelheim, 1964 1969; Leon, 1970], although some critics disagree [Spiro, 1958]. Yet only a few of the Israeli children ever lived in the kibbutz, and the proportion is declining as the founders pass away and the youth find the kibbutz dull. To paraphrase an American ballad, "How, you gonna keep em on the kibbutz, after they've seen Tel Aviv?" In Israel today, the family is reclaiming functions from the kibbutz [Talmon, 1972; Mednick, 1975; Tiger and Shepher, 1975; Gerson, 1978] and the family survives as the standard institution for looking after children.
The family is the child's first primary group and this is where its personality development begins. By the time the child is old enough to enter primary groupings outside the family, the basic foundations of its personaJity are already firmly laid. The kind of person it will be is already profoundly influenced. For example, Mantell (1974) compared the early family backgrounds of a sample of Green Berets (an elite volunteer unit in the Vietnam ware noted for its ruthlessness) with a matched sample of war resisters, finding mapy significant differences. The Green Berets came from parents who were typically authoritarian, conventionally religious, insensitive, not affectionately demonstrative, supervisory rather than companionable with children, and demanding of unquestioning obedience resisters' parents were the opposite in nearly every characteristic. One of the many ways in which the family socializes the child is through providing models for the child to copy. The boy learns to be a man, a husband, and a father mainly through having lived in a family headed by a man, a husband, and a father. Some socialization difficulties are encountered where such a model is missing and the boy must rely upon the secondhand models he sees in other families or among other relatives. There is no fully satisfactory substitute for a mother 'and a father, although they need not be the biological parents.