'Extending the analytical lens': A consideration of the concepts of 'care' and 'intimacy' in relation to fathering after separation or divorce

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This article adds to theoretical debate among British sociologists of families and relationships by considering the analytical potential and positioning of intimacy and care as concepts. Drawing on qualitative data from a study of fathering after separation or divorce, it explores the conceptual value of care as a means to advance understanding of fathering relationships. Raising the question of labour and the question of power, the discussion demonstrates the distinctiveness of care as an analytical tool, alongside, but not equivalent to, intimacy. I argue that intimacy and care are not interchangeable concepts and that care should not be limited as a purely descriptive term. The article presents care as a valuable concept which sheds particular light on the interplay between practical, ethical and emotional dimensions of family relationships, arguing that it has a deeply embedded ethical dimension which lies at the heart of its analytical potential.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)97-107
Number of pages11
JournalSociological Research Online
Issue number1
Early online date28 Feb 2013
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2013

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