By Professor David H. J. Morgan
Top relations sociologist David Morgan revisits his hugely influential 'family practices' method during this new publication. Exploring its impact, and how it has been critiqued, Morgan indicates the continuing relevance of the strategy almost about time and area, the physique, feelings, ethics and work/life stability.
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Extra info for Rethinking Family Practices
4. The historical and spatial nature of configurations should always be remembered; ‘all human configurations evolve through time and place’. , 2008: p. 6) On this basis, Widmer and Jallinoja present a rich variety of case studies illustrating the configurational approach and demonstrating its utility. These include an account of the importance of aunts and uncles, discussion of children’s perspectives on family configurations, post-divorce family relationships, migration and family members undergoing psychotherapy.
Social action is defined, classically as human action which is in some way directed to the expectations of, or in recognition of, others. These ‘others’ may Locating Practices 23 not necessarily be co-present individuals but may be anticipated (as in preparing yourself for an interview) or exist in the past (one’s forebears or ancestors). They may be collectivities, real or imagined (reference groups, generalised others) or identifiable individuals. It can be readily seen that this understanding of action as social action is very much in keeping with the idea of family practices.
I have already noted that various approaches to family life often use metaphors which imply some measure of rationality in this sense; discussions in terms of strategies and negotiations, for example. The relationship between rationality and emotions will be developed in Chapter 7. Some of the definitions of practices (those referring to law or the professions, for example) may draw attention to the ways in which family practices do not exist in isolation from other areas of social life but interact with and are shaped by these other areas.