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Particular attention is paid in the text to the growth of new forms of solidarity and fragmentation within families and households, including cohabitation, divorce, lone-parent households and step-families. The book also focuses on the dynamics of family and household organisation, emphasising the changes that occur in people's domestic relationships as their life course position alters. Thus, in addition to examining the contemporary organisation of marriage, including the domestic division of labour and patterns of resource allocation, it also analyses the household and family circumstances of young adults and people over retirement age.
In focusing on diversity and change in domestic relationships the book reflects the revitalisation evident in the sociology of family life in recent years, a period in which new research questions and fresh understandings have emerged about the ways in which people organise their lives as members of households and families.
Graham Allan is Reader in Sociology at the University of Southampton. His interests include sociology of the family, community and friendship.
Graham Crow is Senior Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Southampton. His interests include the sociology of domestic life, community, sociological theory and comparative sociology.