This Week in Family
People’s last words are often nonsensical and borderline bizarre, yet they’ve gotten conspicuously little attention from researchers, since it’s difficult to study people’s final moments without being overly intrusive. Michael Erard writes about the deeper meaning behind people’s last words, and why understanding them is important to ensuring good end-of-life care.
Relationships with siblings can be even more influential than those with parents, so conflict among children can shape their whole lives, writes Jennifer Traig. She takes a look at the history of sibling rivalries from biblical times to the present, and how parents’ treatment of their children has dramatically shifted away from playing favorites.
When thinking about economic inequality, it’s easy to think about the macro forces at work, such as government policies and big corporations. But there are also ways in which individual people can affect the status quo, writes the Atlantic staff writer Joe Pinsker. He talked with a sociologist who has researched inequality for the past 40 years and has recommendations for what people who live in unequal societies can do to help mitigate the problem.
Data show that Baby Boomers are moving out of their homes at a steady rate, even as the overall moving rate for Americans is on the decline. Empty nesters who sell the family home often seek cheaper rent and proximity to their children or their own parents. But doing so is still often emotionally fraught, writes Hayley Glatter—especially for fledgling adults who thought their childhood home would remain a source of constant comfort.