The Blue House Institute is Richard Kordesh's home on the web. Here, he posts insights about issues, shares thoughts and opinions about what's happening to families and communities, and provides background info about what he's doing.
Richard Kordesh's Blue House Institute provides ideas, insights, and practical proposals aimed at building good communities around children. Built over a career as a political scientist and community developer, Richard's approach lifts up the vitally important roles that families play in making places safe, healthy, and sustainable. Drawing on his recent training in depth psychology, he also delves into his personal journey as a a man, a son, a father, brother, uncle, and husband, and how that has shaped his understanding of the challenges facing individual parents and citizens.
It's a Journey: Personal and Political
Finding one's way into and through the life of family is a life-long journey. We all take this journey, but in many different ways. To know how to strengthen communities around children, it's important to know one's own path, inward and outward, and the perspectives it provides.
Reach out to him via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Co-Productive Family Life: Blending the Old and the New
by Richard Kordesh on 06/28/14
How desperately our society needs to evolve a new form of loving, productive family life! How urgently our young people need a vision of family life that is dignified and feasible practically. Yet again, I have talked with another young friend about whom I care very much, with her worrying over whether it will even be feasible for her and her male partner to come together in marriage. The traction for marriage has become very weak, very thin, almost to where it's not considered seriously by many adults. I believe that traction has eroded because many young folks barely know what it's like to enjoy enough control of one's immediate life to consider building a family and a decent family habitat. Even phrasing the issue that way sounds out-of-reach, outmoded, or outside their relevant range of choices.
But, the alternatives that do match with "reality" are for more living singly, pairing up without commitments, and working in children when and where it might seem feasible. If our society is going to provide traction for family life, it will have to begin offering pathways to it that, given the current expectations of young people, will seem at least in certain ways, old-fashioned and "out of the box."
But, stable, co-productive family life can evolve to embrace new bondings: gay marriages, for example, and arrangements in which men stay home with kids and moms go to work. We can diversify the relationships while building productive and co-productive arrangements that tap the wisdom of the past, but express it in new forms. We must do better for the next generation of young people. The possibilities do exist.
Richard is the creator of the Blue House Institute, from which he writes and consults about the political and policy dynamics of family-based, and family-generated, community building. The Blue House Institute advocates for dignified, local, and democratic policies that enable mothers, fathers, and citizens to thrive as co-producers and to share power.
Richard can consult at many levels of the deliberative process, including community planning, agency program design and fund development, community organizing, building partnerships across government jurisdictions, and strengthening democratic participation through civic associations and religious institutions.
Richard blogs about the obstacles and opportunities presented by the political, psychological and social dynamics unique to various localities and regions. He also shares through the blog stories from his own, forty-year journey as a citizen, father, husband, and professional, always seeking to better understand his mission and to sharpen his craft.
Richard earned a Ph.D. in Political Science from Indiana University, and an MSW with a concentration in Community Development and Planning from the Jane Addams College of Social Work, University of Illinois at Chicago.
Doing their best, different people end up in all kinds of family situations. Marriages fail or don’t occur for many reasons, including abuse, addiction, or a lack of love. Some traditional, married families can be hurtful toward their children, oppressive toward women and girls, or just toxic psychologically. Richard’s approach to family-generated community building lifts up the need for marriage and family to evolve into loving and co-productive institutions, while respecting the different family forms that real life circumstances create.