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The Unbearable Lightness of Bonding in Intimate Interpersonal Relations

Author(s): Mariola Bieńko
Subject(s): Social Sciences
Published by: Instytut Stosowanych Nauk Społecznych Uniwersytetu Warszawskiego
Keywords: bonds; family; community

Summary/Abstract: This article argues that the evolution of bonds in the contemporary world does not amount to replacing ascribed affiliation with individuals' freedom of choice, or the transition from communities of origin to communities of consensus but involves the basic redefinition of both these categories. Bond analysis always refers to private and often very intimate part of individual experience. It is also deeply rooted in the structure of both ideational reality and the reality of events. Structural-functional bonds, as well as emotional, cognitive and aspiration based bonds are played out in the theatre of every day life, enabling long term and positive interaction, and forming a timeless and supra-cultural foundation of interpersonal relations. Profound changes of values, norms, attitudes and behaviors within post-industrial societies have changed the nature of bonding in the familial, marital and sexual community. Broadly conceived socio-economic change, modified structure and organisation of the state, resulting in development of democracy, egalitarianism, increased autonomy and individualism, have all led to the replacament of traditional relationships with a network of global relations which is often a flat, ill-defined flow network. Stable relations are falling apart into series of episodic, minute interactions, while "virtual communities" give the illusion of intimacy.

  • Issue Year: 2006
  • Issue No: 01 (1)
  • Page Range: 105-126
  • Page Count: 22
  • Language: Polish