In one of the great euphemisms of our time, an embattled President Clinton admitted to an "inappropriate relationship" with his White House intern, Monica Lewinsky. But what exactly is an "inappropriate relationship?" For that matter, what is an "appropriate relationship?" And how can an understanding of the rules of "appropriateness" help us understand personal relationships in our modern world?
Contributors to this book discuss the personal boundaries and taboos of modern relationships. Together they examine the power struggles that can occur when individuals are involved in "inappropriate" relationships, and the ways individuals in such a relationship may attempt to buffer themselves against sanctions--or even embrace this relationship as an agent of social change.
Representing work from a range of disciplines, this collection will appeal to scholars, researchers, students, and professionals working on relationships issues in areas across the social sciences, including those working in the fields of social psychology, family studies, social anthropology, cultural studies, and communication.
Table of Contents
Contents: S. Duck, Series Editor's Foreword. Preface. Part I:Conceptualizing Inappropriate Relationships. S. Duck, L. VanderVoort, Scarlet Letters and Whited Sepulchres: The Social Marking of Relationships as "Inappropriate." P.C. Regan, Functional Features: An Evolutionary Perspective on Inappropriate Relationships. Part II:Inappropriate Marriages. G. Allan, K. Harrison, Marital Affairs. S.O. Gaines, J. Leaver, Interracial Relationships. R.G. Adams, J. Rosen-Grandon, Mixed Marriages: Music Community Membership as a Source of Marital Strain. Part III:Counternormative Relationships. R. Baumgarte, Cross-Gender Friendship: The Troublesome Relationship. A.K.T. Yip, Same-Sex Relationships. Part IV:Power-Discrepant Relationships. T. Garrett, Inappropriate Therapist-Patient "Relationships." D. Nobus, Over My Dead Body: On the Histories and Cultures of Necrophilia. B.H. Spitzberg, W.R. Cupach, The Inappropriateness of Relational Intrusion. D. Howitt, Social Exclusion--Pedophile Style. Part V:Epilogue. R. Goodwin, D. Cramer, Inappropriate Relationships in a Time of Social Change...Some Reflections on Culture, History, and Relational Dimensions.
"Given the diversity of topics covered, this book will be most useful to students and professionals in a wide variety of specialties, including social psychology, clinical psychology, counseling, and communication studies. As I read the book, I could not help but envision the lively and engaging class discussions that could be generated from students reading this book. In addition, unlike many edited books in which readers select two, maybe three, chapters they find of interest, this book is a good read from cover to cover. It is engaging, thought-provoking, and insightful in its focus on a really understudied element of close relationships."
—Journal of Social and Personal Relationships