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Families, Relationships and Intimate Life, Second Edition is a thorough exploration of the controversies, contradictions and broad patterns that characterise contemporary relationships and families. Beginning with the conceptual scaffolding of families in their historical and cultural context this text includes the key cultural differences of ethnicity, class and sexuality. Theoretical perspectives including functionalism, feminist approaches and reflexive modernisation are also clearly outlined. Once the groundwork has been established this book delves into examining the complexity of contemporary family life, covering key elements in the life course - childhood, youth, partnering, parenting and ageing and both the positive and negative sides of family life including intimacy and violence. This edition has been extensively updated with contemporary examples from pop culture and current affairs and incorporates developments currently reshaping families including new technologies and social mobility.