Why do people live apart together?

Journal article


Duncan, S., Carter, J., Phillips, M., Roseneil, S. and Stoilova, M. 2013. Why do people live apart together? Families, Relationships and Societies. 2 (3), pp. 323-338. https://doi.org/10.1332/204674313X673419
AuthorsDuncan, S., Carter, J., Phillips, M., Roseneil, S. and Stoilova, M.
Abstract

Interpretations of living apart together (LAT) have typically counter-posed ‘new’ versus ‘continuist’ perspectives. Recent surveys, however, construct LAT as a heterogeneous category which support a ‘qualified continuist’ position – most people live apart as a response to practical circumstances or as a modern version of ‘boy/girlfriend’, although a minority represents something new in preferring to live apart as a more permanent family form. This paper interrogates this conclusion by examining in detail why people live apart together, using information from a nationally representative survey from Britain and from interview accounts. Our analysis shows well one important feature of living apart together – its flexible pragmatism. LAT as a category contains different sorts of relationship, with different needs and desires. While overall coupledom remains pivotal and cohabitation remains the goal for most, LAT allows more freedom for manoeuvre in conducting relationships. LAT is both ‘new’ and a ‘continuation’.

Year2013
JournalFamilies, Relationships and Societies
Journal citation2 (3), pp. 323-338
PublisherIngenta
ISSN2046-7435
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1332/204674313X673419
FunderESRC
Publication dates
Print20 Sep 2013
Publication process dates
Deposited05 Dec 2013
Output statusPublished
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