Sibling Identity and Relationships: Sisters and Brothers, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Sibling Identity and Relationships

Sisters and Brothers, 1st Edition

By Rosalind Edwards, Lucy Hadfield, Helen Lucey, Melanie Mauthner


144 pages

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pub: 2006-07-27
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Sibling Identity and Relationships explores the special place that siblings occupy in the lives of children and young people, providing new insights into sibling identity and relationships. Drawing on social constructionist and psychodynamic perspectives, it discusses who constitutes a sibling, emotional connections and separations, conflict and aggression and how siblings construct and conduct their relationship out of the home, at school and in local communities.

Shedding light on broader debates about social and psychic divisions in wider society, this book explores the ways that siblings are important for children and young people’s social and emotional sense of self in relation to others. Reviewing current literature on sibling relationships as well as proposing alternative theoretical perspectives, Sibling Identity and Relationships will be a valuable resource to academics and students of childhood studies and social work as well as health and social care professionals.


Tony Gillam: '… the subject matter has broad appeal - I would read it out of interest as a sibling myself, as a parent of two siblings and as a practitioner of family therapy. If written and presented in a reasonably accessible style, the proposed book has the potential for a wider general readership."

Eia Asen: "very worthwhile book to publish … there is relatively little written in this field from a social science perspective. I like the contrast between the 'accepted' wisdom of parents and professionals with the siblings' own narratives. This could be helpful for a whole range of people - professionals, parents, siblings, even social scientists!"

Table of Contents

1. Introduction 2. Who is a Sister and a Brother? 3. Images and Resources 4. Location and Communities 5. Leisure and Consumption 6. Strategies 7. Same or Different? 8. Conclusion

About the Authors

Rosalind Edwards is Professor in Social Policy and Director of the Families & Social Capital ESRC Research Group, London South Bank University, UK. Lucy Hadfield is currently Research Fellow in the Faculty of Health and Social Care at The Open University, UK. Helen Lucey is Lecturer in Social Psychology at The Open University, UK. Melanie Mauthner is Lecturer in Social Policy in the Faculty of Social Sciences at The Open University, UK.

About the Series

Relationships and Resources

A key contemporary political and intellectual issue is the link between the relationships that people have and the resources to which they have access.  When people share a sense of identity, hold similar values, trust each other and reciprocally do things for each other, this has an impact on the social, political and economic cohesion of the society in which they live.  So, are changes in contemporary society leading to deterioration in the link between relationships and resources, or new and innovative forms of linking, or merely the reproduction of enduring inequalities? Consideration of relationships and resources raises key theoretical and empirical issues around change and continuity over time as well as time use, the consequences of globalisation and individualisation for intimate and broader social relations, and location and space in terms of communities and neighbourhoods.  The books in this series are concerned with elaborating these issues and form a body of work that will contribute to academic and political debate.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
MEDICAL / Health Care Delivery
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Children's Studies