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Social solidarity is important in many areas of our lives, or at least in how we wish our lives to be. Family and kinship relationships, community life, trade union activity and the identity politics of new social movements are just some of the numerous ways in which social solidarity features in contemporary social arrangements. This book explores the way in which people strive to come together and act as a coherent, unified force. It considers the arguments of those who claim that solidarity is increasingly fragile, and of those who are concerned with revitalizing solidarities in our unsettled societies. The author shows how social change can be understood in the contexts of the limitations as well as the potential of the pursuit of solidarity, drawing on research findings on social relationships in families, communities, and the post-communist world. Written with undergraduate students and researchers in mind, this text should be of value to those studying social theory, and family, community or comparative sociology.
Graham Crow is Reader in Sociology at the University of Southampton where he has worked since 1983. His research interests include sociological theory, comparative sociology, and the sociology of families and communities.