Concern and debate over changes to family life have increased in the last decade, as a result of evolving employment patterns, shifting gender relations and more openness about sexual orientation. Most politicians and researchers have viewed these changes as harmful, suggesting that the family as an institution should not alter. The ‘New’ Family? challenges these dominant views. Leading academics in the field consider current diverse practices in families, and reveal the lack of balance between policies based on how families should be and how they actually are, illustrating the need for a broader definition of family.

Risk and Family Practices: Accounting for Change and Fluidity in Family Life

Risk and Family Practices: Accounting for Change and Fluidity in Family Life

Risk and family practices: Accounting for change and fluidity in family life
David H.J.Morgan

Modern family life is often characterized in terms of flux and fluidity and this may be a matter of concern or a cause for celebration. This chapter explores two ways of conceptualizing this fluidity, one which looks at family living in terms of practices and the other which starts from a perspective which emphasizes risk. Both of these approaches stress that while the idea of the family or the lived experiences of family life may well be useful points of departure, they should not necessarily be seen as points of conclusion as well. In the case of the analysis in terms ...

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