In this Book

summary

Family conflict has traditionally been studied by researchers who are at a safe intellectual distance from the families under their study. In Skeletons in the Closet, and in line with feminist research methodologies, the hierarchical distance between researcher and subject is broken down. All of the contributors to this volume are academics, and all are closely related to the families they write about.

Skeletons in the Closet consists of ten essays about unresolved or unresolvable family conflicts. The contributors start from the assumption that families—whether legal-marriage families, common-law marriage families, single-parent families, multiple-generation families, same-sex partnerships, or adoptive families—are cradles of intense emotion. That intensity, they argue, may translate into conflict, competition, domination, abuse, exploitation, or even hate. This book explores those areas most likely to grip family members in unresolved interpersonal strife, as well as the strategies people use to solve the issues and the shame and isolation that conflict brings in societies that normatively expect family life to be one of joy, mutual sharing, and caring.

This first-hand narration of family conflict by social scholars has much to contribute to sociological studies of the family, both methodologically and theoretically. The introduction and conclusion place family conflict within sociological and social psychological theories and methods.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Frontmatter
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. v-vi
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  1. Introduction: Opening Closets, Rattling Family Skeletons: What Will They Say?
  2. pp. 1- 32
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  1. 1. A Sudden Death and the Long-Term Fragmentation of a Family
  2. pp. 33- 49
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  1. 2. Grandmother and Grandson
  2. pp. 51-64
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  1. 3. Rupture and Repair: The Cascading Effects of Mental Illness on a Family of Innocents
  2. pp. 65- 81
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  1. 4. “Not My Happy Ending”: A Family Struggle to Define Roles in a Challenging Time
  2. pp. 83- 95
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  1. 5. My Sisters Are the Problem: Sibling Struggles over Power and Identity in Relation to Caring for an Aging Parent
  2. pp. 97- 108
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  1. 6. Sitting at the Steps of Hope, Love, and Hospitality
  2. pp. 109- 120
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  1. 7. A Gay Actor with Multiple Scripts: Impression Management Strategies to Comply with Traditional Chinese Family Norms
  2. pp. 121-138
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  1. 8. Noises and Unwanted Odours in Old Closets?
  2. pp. 139- 155
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  1. 9. A Brother No Longer: A Real Story of Family Dysfunction and Abuse
  2. pp. 157- 172
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  1. 10. Female Excommunicated: A Life Course and Family in Conflict with Norms and Tradition
  2. pp. 173-186
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  1. Conclusion: Strategies That Work and That Fail to Work
  2. pp. 187- 206
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  1. Appendix
  2. pp. 207-210
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  1. About the Editors
  2. pp. 211-212
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Additional Information

ISBN
9781554583188
Related ISBN
9781554582655
MARC Record
OCLC
808778095
Pages
222
Launched on MUSE
2012-01-01
Language
English
Open Access
No
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