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5. Family Diversity, Individualisation and Social Change
About this Lecture
In this lecture, we think about how the nature of the family and family life has changed over time, focusing in particular on: (i) the idea that the nuclear family is a historically and culturally specific form of family structure; (ii) the work of Anthony Giddens, particularly his book 'The Transformation of Intimacy' (1993); (iii) the purpose of marriage in pre-modern societies, and the development of the idea of romantic love in the late 18th century; (iv) Giddens' concept of the 'pure relationship'; (v) the decreasing prevalence of the heterosexual nuclear family and the rise of alternative family types, e.g. single parent families, same sex couples, etc.; (vi) the concept of 'individualisation'; (vii) the work of Carol Smart and the sociology of one's 'personal life'; (viii) the major changes in how people connect with one another, and the things that have stayed the same.
– A. Giddens, The Transformation of Intimacy (1992)
– C. Smart, The Sociology of Personal Life (2011)
In this course, Dr Vicki Harman (University of Surrey) explores the sociology of the family. In the first lecture, we think about the different ways in which we might define the word 'family', as well as considering some of the alternative concepts that have found currency in recent sociological research, e.g. 'household', 'personal life'. In the second lecture, we look at functionalist approaches to the family. In the third lecture, we explore Marxist theories of the family. Next, we think about feminist approaches to the family. In the fifth lecture, we consider how the nature of the family and of family life has changed over time. In the sixth and final lecture, we think about the concepts of 'family practices' and 'family display', including the work of David Morgan and Janet Finch.
Dr Vicki Harman is a Senior Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Surrey. Her research interests include family life, motherhood and gender. She is co-editor of Feeding Children Inside and Outside the Home (2019) and Mothering, Mixed Families and Racialised Boundaries (2015), and author of The Sexual Politics of Ballroom Dancing (2018).
Cite this Lecture
Harman, V. (2021, August 23). Sociological Theories of the Family - Family Diversity, Individualisation and Social Change [Video]. MASSOLIT. https://massolit.io/courses/sociological-theories-of-the-family/family-diversity-individualisation-and-social-change
Harman, V. "Sociological Theories of the Family – Family Diversity, Individualisation and Social Change." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 23 Aug 2021, https://massolit.io/courses/sociological-theories-of-the-family/family-diversity-individualisation-and-social-change