Relevant, focused and accessible this book will provide students with an indispensible guide to the central concepts of family studies.




The individualization thesis suggests a radical transformation in family life and relationship aspirations and choices. Contentiously, it argues that nowadays ‘family’ has become a set of associations between people who choose to be bound together for as long as being so feels fulfilling to all involved. In turn, ideas about predetermined family obligations and a sense of permanent ties are said to have lost their dominance and relevance.


The individualization thesis is one of the most influential and debated in contemporary family studies. It is part of a body of social science theory that makes overarching statements about high or late ‘reflexive’ modernity as a social process with implications for people's personal motivation. Individualization is also said to produce the democratization of contemporary family life, ...

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