Distance Relationships: Intimacy and Emotions Amongst by Mary Holmes

By Mary Holmes

Drawing on interviews with united kingdom in distance relationships, this booklet seeks to provide an explanation for, review and increase sociological debates approximately intimate existence. It offers a wealthy and human standpoint on how our bodies, feelings and connections to others are key in conserving intimate relationships.

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Extra resources for Distance Relationships: Intimacy and Emotions Amongst Academics and Their Partners in Dual-Locations

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Bourdieusian-inspired developments of the concept of ‘emotional capital’ (Nowotny, 1981; Reay, 2004) allow consideration of how emotional ‘resources’ might be inherited from significant others, or inform more public reproductions of privilege and lack of privilege (Skeggs, 1997; 2005). However, social reproduction is emotionally reflexive in ways that can no longer always rely on routine forms of action (Holmes, 2010a; cf. Archer, 1993; 2012). Like many contemporary individuals, distance relaters must turn from habit to reflexivity to navigate their departure from more familiar forms of intimacy and do this within the context of wider inequalities.

There have also been moments of retraditionalisation, where former practices and constraints might be re-imposed (Adkins, 2000). Since the nineteenth century, there has been some detraditionalisation in intimate life throughout the world (Therborn, 2004). Although there are important differences between colonising and colonised peoples, it should be noted that a shift away from traditional forms of intimacy has not only occurred for White and Western populations but also for so-called ‘traditional’ cultures (see, for example, McIntosh, 2005; Tuhiwai Smith, 1999.

It may be that the temporal order of sensation, reaction and the turning of feeling into a named emotion is rather less linear than once thought. Contemporary knowledge of neural processes indicates that reflexes, which could include emotional reflexes, draw on decisions that are made earlier and ‘stored’ (Elder-Vass, 2007). This is an interesting possibility, but is in danger of falling into the trap of much sociology by seeing emotions as appearing within the individual and then being socially expressed (Burkitt, 1997, p.

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