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Keywords:

  • first born;
  • parenthood;
  • generations

SUMMARY

I return thus to my starting point in Emanuel Miller's model of the cycle of the generations. What I have endeavored to show is that the first born marks a critical, perhaps the most critical stage in the cycle. Like him, I take parenthood to be the crucial factor in the cycle. It is a truism to say that parenthood is a universal human (some would say primate) institution. What is more to the point is that how it is created in each case and in general, and how it runs its course, the relationships and the patterns of custom and of behaviour it generates—these are phenomena where all the human sciences in which Miller was interested meet on common ground. I hope therefore that this lecture, deviously as it has wandered and perhaps tried your patience, will commend itself as a fining tribute to the memory of Emanuel Miller.