Public definitions and private lives

Wetherell, Margaret (1995). Public definitions and private lives. In: Muncie, John; Wetherell, Margaret; Langan, Mary; Dallos, Rudi and Cochrane, Allan eds. Understanding the Family. London, U.K.: Sage Publications Ltd.

URL: http://www.uk.sagepub.com/books/Book205902

Abstract

About the book: `Provide[s] a good overview of current family theory and research.... well written and worth having' - British Journal of Medical Psychology
`Altogether an excellent collection for students of social policy, social care or social work, covering as it does both subjective and objective features of family life and the logics of inequality within which they are embedded' - Child and Family Social Work
This revised and updated introductory text presents an accessible, interdisciplinary account of how 'the family' is constituted in the 'public' and 'private' spheres.
Drawing in a wide range of theoretical perspectives from sociology, social policy, psychology and psychoanalysis, this book critically examines assumptions about 'the family' that are embedded in social policy, law and political discourse. The text outlines the tensions that exist between such assumptions and the lived realities and everyday experiences of family life. Understanding the Family shows how dominant understanding of the family have failed to recognize a marked diversity of family forms in contemporary society, and also ignore the complex and myriad ways in which family life comes to be experienced.

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