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Friends are the families we choose for ourselves: towards the democratisation of relationships

Burr, Vivien (2005) Friends are the families we choose for ourselves: towards the democratisation of relationships. In: British Psychological Society Psychology of Women Section POWS Conference 2005, 6-8 July 2005, University of Huddersfield, UK.

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          Abstract

          It is almost a truism to say that relationships
          occupy a place of central importance in women’s
          lives in a way that is not so for men. Some, for
          example, Chodorow (1978), have gone as far as to
          say that women’s sense of self is defined in terms
          of their relationships to others. However, many of
          women’s close relationships have traditionally been
          located within the family, and to the extent that
          the family may be seen as an institution serving
          the interests of patriarchal society we may
          question its benefits for women and their sense of
          self. If social structure and subjectivity are
          interlinked, as I feel they must be, then it is no
          surprise that for many women their sense of self,
          founded within inegalitarian relationships, is
          sometimes characterised by a lack of self respect
          and self-esteem.
          In this paper I will comment upon recent changes
          in family forms in western societies and upon the
          increasing importance of friendship networks in
          many people’s lives. Drawing examples from
          popular culture as well as from social science
          research, I will discuss these changes as a form of
          ‘democratisation’ of relationships (Giddens, 1991,
          1992, 1994) and reflect upon the impli

          Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Keynote)
          Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
          H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
          H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
          Schools: School of Human and Health Sciences
          School of Human and Health Sciences > Centre for Applied Psychological Research
          Related URLs:
          Depositing User: Sara Taylor
          Date Deposited: 24 May 2012 09:44
          Last Modified: 24 May 2012 09:44
          URI: http://eprints.hud.ac.uk/id/eprint/13700

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