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Acknowledgements. Introduction. 1. A sociology of personal life. 2. The cultural turn in the sociology of family life and living. 3. Emotions, love and the problem of commitment. 4. Connections and cultures of tradition. 5. Secrets and lies. 6. Families we live with. 7. Possessions, things and relationality. 8. Conclusion. References. Index
Carol Smart is Professor of Sociology at the Morgan Centre for the Study of Relationships and Personal Life, School of Social Science, University of Manchester.
"This is a striking book - honest, engaging, insightful. And if, in the end, it is most directly addressed to an academic readership, it offers perceptive insights that may be rewarding even for readers who share nothing with the writer other than a common humanity." Brenda Almond, Times Higher Education Supplement "This bracing book reconfigures an entire field of study. Escaping the conceptual snares imposed by the usual category of 'The Family', Smart shows how we weave personal lives from skeins of imagination, memories, secrets and stories on looms provided by our histories and cultures. Personal Life is a creative, invigorating book that should appeal broadly to readers across disciplinary and national borders." Judith Stacey, New York University "In this beautifully crafted book, Carol Smart puts sociology back in touch with the ways in which we live and experience our everyday personal lives through a lifetime of family experiences, memories and emotions. In doing so she breathes fresh life into theoretical debates about 'the family' by making us consider the multiplicity of interconnected ways in which individuals experience themselves as family members." Allison James, University of Sheffield "For all reflecting on personal life, scholars and general readers, this is a thought-provoking and fascinating book that will take you further." Lynn Jamieson, University of Edinburgh