Intimacy in Family

Topics: Family, Interpersonal relationship, Mother Pages: 6 (1911 words) Published: December 10, 2012
The term "intimacy" has captured a large number of sociologists' attention throughout the history in that the role intimacy plays is of significance in terms of human experience(Miller and Perlman, 2009). Moreover, the understanding of interpersonal relationships and ties within the notion of family has been consisitently updated and deeply analyzed from a sociological point of view. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to gain a general acknownledge of the extent to which sociology has contributed to the comprehension of the family through reviewing and discussing sociologial theories and analysises. Firstly, it discusses various perspectives on defining the term "intimacy" by examining difference between overall relationships and intimate relationships. Secondly, the definition of "family" will be given from various points of views. Eventually, it explores characteristics and changes of parenting, one of major relationships within the scope of family, through analyzing sociological theories and empirical evidences.

When it come to the definition of the term "Intimacy", there is no single definition has been fixed for this term. Given its complicated and changeable as a result of various social contexts (Lindsay and Dempsey, 2009), critical thoughts have been normality. It is stated that charactristics of intimate relationship should be distinguished from other kinds of relationship. Reasons are as follows. Overall relationship, generally believed, could be established by the biological relatedness(i.e. blood ties and matriel ties) and, from more objective point of views, legal connection, especially in Western countries.(Lindsay and Dempsey, 2009). In contrast, intimate relatinoship refers to be associated with subjective status rather than objective one. For example, in the thought of Jacqui Gabb(2009), intimacy could be classified into sexual terms as well as caring interactions among friends, parents and children, which is, to great degree, agreed by Lynn Jamieson(1998) whose opinions also include sharing, love, deep understanding. However, in spite of critical defintions, four kinds of intimacy, respectively, cogntive, experiential, emotional and sexual, are of relatively importance(UF Counseling & Wellness Center).

Concerning that intimate relationships discussed in this paper are restricted within the field of family, features of restricted intimacy are more distinct than those of universal intimacy. Exactly, intimate relationship happening in the family is associated with particular people(i.e. Parents, chileren, husband, wife, grandparents, etc.) and with certain topics(i.e. Family structures, relationships, problems, etc.). Nevertheless, the term family still covers a wide range of characteristics, behaviours and experience, which is defined as "the very cradle of human nature"(Leslie, 1967). For instance, it is likely for a person to be brought up from a newborn infant to an adult with personal values through family experience and education(Kingsley, 1947).

In additional, the theory Gidden insisted is a relatively systematic method towards the definition of the family(Gidden, 1997). A) family refers as a specific set of individual groups, in terms of legal. People involved in this definition are automatically burdened with entitlement and responsibilies (Lindsay and Dempsey, 2009). Take parenting as an example, parents have obligations to bring up their children until they are 18. B) family is defined as "a set of functions"(Gidden, 1997). A more detailed explanation is from Morgan(1985), he explored three practical functions family have including common residence, economic cooperation and reprodution. Sexuality is added to family's functions as family is sometimes consided as the most basic institution in society(Lindsay and Dempsey, 2009). C)family indicates a set of ideas (Gidden, 1997)...
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