The family remains a complex and dynamic concept, variably defined and experienced. Families take many different forms and these, together with changing expectations and anticipations of family life, provide crucial frames through which people engage in society. This chapter provides a critical engagement with some key ideas and theories about families and relationships. The aim is twofold: first, to explore the potential for the concept of boundaries to help deconstruct and reconstruct families, relationships and family practices in ways that promote critical scholarship relevant to the development of policy, practice and further research; second, to reprise and question presumptions about ‘the family’ through a critical review of ‘traditional’ family values and the changing and complex nature of families and personal life.
May 2022 onwards
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