Intimacy : Personal Relationships in Modern Societies

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Are personal relationships deeper and more intimate than ever before or are they increasingly empty and structured by selfish individualism? This exciting new book examines the question in a wide-ranging discussion of the nature of intimacy, focusing on key relationships between parents and children, families, sexual partners, couples and friends.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 224 pages
  • 152 x 228 x 16mm | 240.4g
  • Polity Press
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0
  • 0745615740
  • 9780745615745
  • 670,518

Review quote

"Jamiesona s analysis throughout is lucid and stimulating, enlivened by apt illustrations from her case studies, including some derived from her own research. The study of intimacy is clearly going to be a developing field and students who are attracted to courses in this new area will be fortunate to have Jamiesona s text as a guide through the growing literature, relevant theories and competing claims." David Morgan, University of Manchester "Starts like a textbook and ends like a thriller. Lynn Jamieson sets out clearly the modern theories of personal life. Then she digs out the facts -- on friendships, child rearing, families, sexuality -- and confronts them. The results are sometimes surprising, and always convincing." R. W. Connell, University of Sydney "Draw[s] on, and contribute[s] to, sociologya s newly enlarged sensitivity to the forms of private life and personal experience ... Jamiesona s book is strikingly evidence--based." The Times Higher Education Supplement "Researchers and teachers in the area of personal relationships will encounter valuable new ideas and sources in this book ... good summaries of valuable qualitative studies by scholars from Great Britain, Australia and New Zealand." Contemporary Sociology "Finding a monograph that is important reading for scholars, graduate students, and upper division undergraduates is unusual. Jamiesona s book is important for all three audiences" Alan C. Acock, Oregon State University, Journal of Marriage and the Family.
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Back cover copy

Are personal relationships deeper and more intimate than ever before or are they increasingly empty and structured by selfish individualism? This book pursues the question in a wide-ranging discussion of the changing nature of intimacy in modern societies.
The book starts by asking whether intimacy is a basic human need. The author then discusses whether a particular type of intimacy is now being sought in all close relationships in western societies, and whether this involves a sharing or our innermost selves or if relationships are still fundamentally shaped by power and economic considerations. Through a series of individual chapters focusing on relationships between parents and children, families, sexual partners, couples and friends, Jamieson shows that many current beliefs about the nature of relationships need to be re-thought, and she argues for a more grounded, gendered and complex picture of intimacy. As well as a critical evaluation of theories of change in personal life, an impressive range of scholarship from Europe, America, Australia and New Zealand is brought to bear on the issues.
"Intimacy "will be of interest to scholars and students of sociology, women's studies, and gender studies.
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About Lynn Jamieson

Lynn Jamieson is Senior Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Edinburgh.
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Table of contents

1. Introduction.
A Story of Intimacy?.
The Wider Significance of Intimacy in Personal Life.
Dimensions of Intimacy.
Stories and Story Tellers.
2. From 'The Family' to Sex and Industry. .
The Making of the Conventional Modern Family.
Visions of the Future.
3. Parenting and Intimacy.
Mothers and Fathers as Intimates.
More Shared Caring Between Mothers and Fathers?.
Parenting: Trends in Intimacy and Democracy?.
4. Are Good Friends All You Need? .
Friends, Kin and Intimacy.
Gender, Heterosexuality, Friendship and Intimacy.
5. Sex and Intimacy. .
Stories of 'Normal Sex' and Intimacy.
The Realities of Sexual Lives.
Stories, Practices and Social Change.
6. The Couple: Intimate and Equal? .
The Heterosexual Couple: Still She the Housewife, He the Earner?.
Domestic Violence and Forced Intimacy.
Same-Sex Couples.
Intimacy and Relationship Breakdown.
7. Conclusion. .
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Rating details

7 ratings
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4 14% (1)
3 86% (6)
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