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Families in societyBoundaries and relationships$
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Linda McKie and Sarah Cunningham-Burley

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9781861346438

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781861346438.001.0001

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Living and loving beyond the boundaries of the heteronorm: personal relationships in the 21st century

Living and loving beyond the boundaries of the heteronorm: personal relationships in the 21st century

Chapter:
(p.241) Fourteen Living and loving beyond the boundaries of the heteronorm: personal relationships in the 21st century
Source:
Families in society
Author(s):

Sasha Roseneil

Publisher:
Policy Press
DOI:10.1332/policypress/9781861346438.003.0014

This chapter argues that it is the way in which the sociologies of families and relationships have continued to centre the family in their theorising that has led to limited understandings of the diversity of personal life in contemporary society. It pushes the boundaries of existing ways of thinking about personal relationships by focusing on those at the ‘cutting edge’ of social change, namely those living ‘beyond the heteronorm’. The research demonstrates the extent of friendship, ways in which family and partner are not necessarily central to people's lives and how a sense of permanence and obligation pertains to personal relationships. Boundaries are blurred between friendships and sexual relationships and the binary between homo- and heterosexual is itself being fractured at cultural and individual levels.

Keywords:   family sociology, personal life, contemporary society, social change, friendship, sexual relationships

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