Reinventing Couples

Tradition, Agency and Bricolage

  • Julia Carter
  • Simon Duncan

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xi
  2. Julia Carter, Simon Duncan
    Pages 1-12
  3. Julia Carter, Simon Duncan
    Pages 13-47
  4. Julia Carter, Simon Duncan
    Pages 49-78
  5. Julia Carter, Simon Duncan
    Pages 79-114
  6. Julia Carter, Simon Duncan
    Pages 115-132
  7. Julia Carter, Simon Duncan
    Pages 133-169
  8. Julia Carter, Simon Duncan
    Pages 171-200
  9. Julia Carter, Simon Duncan
    Pages 201-213
  10. Back Matter
    Pages 215-229

About this book


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.

Reinventing Couples will be of interest to students and scholars across a range of disciplines including sociology, social work and social policy.


intimacy marriage society sociology gender

Authors and affiliations

  • Julia Carter
    • 1
  • Simon Duncan
    • 2
  1. 1.School of Psychology, Politics and SociologyCanterbury Christ Church UniversityCanterburyUnited Kingdom
  2. 2.Faculty of Social SciencesUniversity of BradfordBradfordUnited Kingdom

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2018
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, London
  • eBook Packages Social Sciences
  • Print ISBN 978-1-137-58960-6
  • Online ISBN 978-1-137-58961-3
  • Buy this book on publisher's site