As more and more people spend longer periods of their lives outside conventional families and couples, radical transformation in personal life is underway. Much of the love, care and support that matters to people now takes place beyond the boundaries of the family, between partners who do not live together and within networks of friends. This book proposes a new way of understanding recent social change in three aspects of personal life - sociability, sexuality and self. Developing a theory of queer individualization, it identifies a set of counter-heteronormative relationship practices emerging amongst those at the cutting-edge of change: the prioritization of friendship, the de-centring of sexual/love relationships and the forming of non-conventional sexual partnerships. Arguing for a psychosocial approach to personal life, the book proposes a queer re-theorizing of individualization, which disrupts the binary categories of individual/society, and which holds the relational nature of human life as central.
Part 1: Rethinking Intimacy and Personal Life 1. Theorizing Intimacy, Personal Life and Social Change 2. Researching Intimacy and Personal Life at the Cutting-Edge of Change Part 2: Individuals in Relationships Part 3: Sociability, Sexuality, Self 3. Sociability 4. Sexuality 5. Self Part 4: Thinking the Future 6. Queer Individualization 7. Politics, Ethics, Policy