This article has benefited enormously from the helpful comments made on earlier drafts by Rebecca Adams, Susan Boon, Steve Duck, Stephen Marks, Bob Milardo, Ray Pahl, and Sue Sprecher. I am very grateful to them for their careful consideration of the arguments made in the paper and the numerous constructive suggestions they made for improving it. They bear no responsibility for the weaknesses that remain but without their help there would be many more.
Flexibility, friendship, and family
Article first published online: 20 FEB 2008
Volume 15, Issue 1, pages 1–16, March 2008
How to Cite
ALLAN, G. (2008), Flexibility, friendship, and family. Personal Relationships, 15: 1–16. doi: 10.1111/j.1475-6811.2007.00181.x
- Issue published online: 20 FEB 2008
- Article first published online: 20 FEB 2008
This article is concerned with the impact of late modernity on patterns of solidarity in friend and family relationships. It takes as its starting point the transformations in partnership, family, and household formation and dissolution that have been occurring in Western societies since the 1970s. Accepting these shifts as indicative of the greater freedoms people now have over the construction of their personal relationships and social networks, the article examines the degree to which the domains of family and friendship are merging. Its principal argument is that despite increased flexibility in the construction of personal life, including diversity in the prioritization of different relationships, at a cultural level clear boundaries exist between family and friendship ties.