Negotiating Family Responsibilities provides a major new insight into contemporary family life, particularly kin relationships outside the nuclear family. While many people believe that the real meaning of 'family' has shrunk to the nuclear family household, there is considerable evidence to suggest that relationships with the wider kin group remain an important part of most people's lives.
Based on the findings of a major study of kinship, and including lively verbatim accounts of conversations with family members concepts of responsibility and obligation within family life are examined and the authors expand theories on the nature of assistance within families and argue that it is negotiated over time rather than given automatically.
Table of Contents
1. Understanding Family Responsibilities. 2. Balancing Responsibilities: Dependence and Independence. 3. Negotiating Commitments Over Time. 4. Making Legitimate Excuses. 5. Reputations and Moral Identitiesin the Negotiation of Family Responsibilities. 6. Conclusion. Appendices
Professor Janet V. Finch, Jennifer Mason
`That this book breaches boundaries between sociology, social policy and social anthropolgy, is to the credit of Janet Finch and Jennifer Mason's thorough analysis and the sensitive and detailed manner in which they present the views of people interviewed...This book makes an important contribution to our knowledge of how kinship in Britain works .... as well as providing a convincing and clear account with judicious examples, it has also provided firm ground from which to embark on a different set of questions.' - Public Health Research and Resource Centre