Relations of Intimacy and Family in the Thought of Anthony Giddens

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Abstract

Anthony Giddens is one of the most widely published sociologists of the twentieth century. He is one of the most important theorists of the concepts of agency, reflexivity, intimacy, and numerous others. This article examines Giddens’ perspective on family, intimacy, and structural changes in close relationships. The article follows the main theses of this author and gives them a new perspective through the main critics and ideas applied in contemporary research. Giddens places the consideration of intimacy and family within the framework of late modernity, which he sees as a radicalization of the consequences of the development of modern society. The transformation of intimacy is an aspect of contemporary human identity that is viewed reflexively. Today’s society is characterized by a high rate of marriage, divorce, and remarriage, and life circumstances are changing more and more frequently. Giddens sees so-called pure relationships as a new form of expression of intimacy and discusses their position in relation to structural elements of contemporary society, risks, democratization, and individual reflexivity. Based on the analysis of Giddens work and his main critics, the article argues that it is necessary to approach the ideal of a pure relationship by working towards openness and confidential communication in intimate relationships.