From Sociology of the Family to Sociology of Personal Life: A Review of the Literature


Nguyen Trung Kien

Abstract: Family is one of the most important institutions in our society. This fact was strongly confirmed in the modern society, but since 1950s has been challenged by the rise of phenomena such as cohabitation, divorce, homosexual relationships. The changes in social reality have shifted social thoughts from the emphasis on family life to the diversity of personal lives. The author examines the shift from modernism to postmodernism, in view of transforming from the sociology of the family to the sociology of personal life. This article begins with the discussion of failure of conventional approach to the family, it then shows the challenges of social life to modernity and finally demonstrates the variety of personal lives’ phenomena in contemporary society.

Key words: family, personal lives, intimacy, modernity, post-modernity