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Cultures of intimacy and care beyond ‘the family’: personal life and social change in the early 21st Century

Roseneil, Sasha and Budgeon, S. (2004) Cultures of intimacy and care beyond ‘the family’: personal life and social change in the early 21st Century. Current Sociology 52 (2), pp. 135-159. ISSN 0011-3921.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0011392104041798

Abstract

The authors argue that if sociologists are to understand the current state, and likely future, of intimacy and care, we should decentre the ‘family’ and the heterosexual couple in our intellectual imaginaries. In the context of processes of individualization much that matters to people in terms of intimacy and care increasingly takes place beyond the ‘family’, between partners who are not living together ‘as family’, and within networks of friends. The first section of the article provides a critique of family sociology and the sociology of gender for the heteronormative frameworks within which they operate. It proposes an extension of the framework within which contemporary transformations in the realm of intimacy are to be analysed, and it suggests that there is a need for research focusing on the cultures of intimacy and care inhabited by those living at the cutting edge of social change. In the second part of the article, the authors draw upon their own research on the most ‘individualized’ sector of the population – adults who are not living with a partner. They explore contemporary cultures of intimacy and care among this group through a number of case studies, and argue that two interrelated processes characterize these cultures: centring on friendship, and decentring sexual relationships.

Item Type: Article
Keyword(s) / Subject(s): care, family, individualization, intimacy
School or Research Centre: Birkbeck Schools and Research Centres > School of Social Sciences, History and Philosophy > Psychosocial Studies
Depositing User: Administrator
Date Deposited: 24 Nov 2011 09:39
Last Modified: 17 Apr 2013 12:22
URI: http://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/4433

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