The emotions have traditionally been marginalized in mainstream social theory. This book demonstrates the problems that this has caused and charts the resurgence of emotions in social theory today. Drawing on a wide variety of sources, both classical and contemporary, Simon Williams treats the emotions as a universal feature of human life and our embodied relationship to the world. He reflects and comments upon the turn towards the body and intimacy in social theory, and explains what is important in current thinking about emotions. In his doing so, readers are provided with a critical assessment of various positions within the field, including the strengths and weaknesses of poststructuralism and postmodernism for examinin
Chapter 6: Gender and the Transformation of Intimacy: A ‘Stalled Revolution’?
Gender and the Transformation of Intimacy: A ‘Stalled Revolution’?
One area, it is claimed, where a profound transformation in emotional life is occurring is the sphere of intimacy. Today for the first time, we are told, men and women face each other as ‘equals’, intimacy holding the potential for true ‘democracy’ not simply in the privatized domestic sphere, but also within the broader body politic. These alleged changes should not, however, blind us to equally important continuities with the past, trends and counter-trends which may in fact be cancelling one another out. In this chapter we take a closer look at these issues, and the emotional insights they afford, through the supposed ‘transformation of intimacy’ in late ...