Work and intimacy: reassessing the career/couple norm through a narrative case approach

Potter, J. (2018) Work and intimacy: reassessing the career/couple norm through a narrative case approach. Sociological Research Online. ISSN 1360-7804.

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It is argued that ‘career’, as linear progression through one industry or two, and ‘coupledom’, as hetero, cohabitive, and moving towards marriage, have both been undermined by alternate arrangements for work and intimacy. In the face of these changes, this article considers how the hallmarks of coupling and the tenets of career manifest themselves in everyday interactions within partnerships.

The article uses a narrative case approach to explore these interactions in depth. It reveals not only the persistence of normative assumptions within couple relationships but also how the ‘work’ of couple relationships draw on particular expectations surrounding what it means to negotiate a successful ‘career’. The paradigm of progress transects career/couple narratives, blurring the already opaque boundaries between productive and personal realms. This entanglement presents challenges for individuals, limiting prescriptions for what are considered ‘acceptable’ narratives of work and intimacy.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Career; coupling; gender; intimacy; narrative; relationships; work
Subjects: H Social Sciences
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Divisions: Faculty of Social and Applied Sciences > School of Psychology, Politics and Sociology
Depositing User: Jesse Potter
Date Deposited: 25 Sep 2018 09:12
Last Modified: 07 Feb 2019 16:30

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Last edited: 29/06/2016 12:23:00