By Fiona Williams.
Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation
Star rating: 4/5 stars
How often can you buy a book for £6 these days? This one is a little gem and excellent value for money, writes Lynne Wilson.
Based on recent research projects, the author explores the changes that have been taking place in “parenting” and “partnering” over recent decades. This uplifting book aims to challenge many of the negative images and assumptions that abound about the state of the family and core relationships in our post-modern society.
While acknowledging that the “shape of commitment” is changing, the research findings demonstrate that there is no loss of commitment to key responsibilities and relationships. On the contrary there is strong evidence that people seek to do the “proper thing” by those they care for, and increasingly seek to meet those responsibilities in new and creative ways.
Statistical trends are set alongside material from in-depth studies, with useful summaries at the end of each chapter. Williams concludes with key messages for social policy, advocating for a move towards a positive political “ethic of care”, where flexibility, respect and non-judgemental attitudes prevail.
This very readable book will not only inform but will provide the backcloth for important debates in many areas of professional social care practice.
Lynne Wilson is senior lecturer in social work, University of Lincoln.