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Reinventing Couples: Tradition, Agency and Bricolage

Carter, Julia; Duncan, Simon


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Julia Carter
Senior Lecturer in Sociology and Criminology

Simon Duncan


This book presents a new approach to understanding contemporary personal life, taking account of how people build their lives through a bricolage of ‘tradition’ and ‘modern’. The authors examine how tradition is used and adapted, invented and re-invented; how meaning can leak from past to present; the ways in which people’s agencies differ as they make decisions; and the process of bricolage in making new arrangements. These themes are illustrated through a variety of case studies, ranging from personal life in the 1950s, young women and marriage, the rise of cohabitation, female name change, living apart together, and creating weddings. Centrally the authors emphasise the re-traditionalisation involved in de-traditionalisation and the connectedness involved in individualised processes of relationship change.


Carter, J., & Duncan, S. (2018). Reinventing Couples: Tradition, Agency and Bricolage. London, UK: Palgrave Macmillan.

Book Type Authored Book
Online Publication Date Jan 1, 2018
Publication Date Jan 1, 2018
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Series Title Palgrave Macmillan Studies in Family and Intimate Life
ISBN 9781137589606
Keywords reinventing, couples, tradition, agency, bricolage
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