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




In the specific context of family studies, the concept of negotiation concerns interactions between family members about how to understand a situation, and the courses of action that emerge from these understandings. The negotiations can be both explicit and implicit.


The concept of negotiation arises within the context of broader sociological theories about the links between individuals, social processes and social structures. In particular, some sociological perspectives see meaning as arising out of social interaction between people, with structural differences emerging from such interchanges. In relation to families, rather than adherence to less flexible authority structures, negotiation between family members has arguably emerged as a key motif of modern family life in European and New World societies.

Giddens (1992), for example, argues that intimate relationships have shifted ...

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