The State of Affairs
Explorations in infidelity and Commitment
Edited by Jean Duncombe, Kaeren Harrison, Graham Allan, Dennis Marsden
Routledge – 2004 – 254 pages
This volume brings together contributions on the study of sexual affairs in committed personal relationships. The editors enlisted colleagues with varied theoretical and methodological perspectives from Britain, the United States, and other countries. Together, their contributions provide a broad, cross-national perspective on affairs.
Grounded in theoretical discussion, the chapters in this book introduce data collected by a broad range of methods, including attitude surveys, large statistical cohort studies, case studies, depth interviews, and group discussions. A number of contributors locate the theoretical discussion of affairs within the broader contemporary ordering of committed relationships, contrasting the liberating and empowering aspects of affairs with the damage they may inflict on society as a whole and on the lives of individuals and families. The themes of passion, transgression, secrecy, lies, betrayal, and gossip are common to a range of chapters throughout. The volume provides broad literature reviews and theoretical discussions concerning particular aspects of affairs, such as communication and jealousy. In addition, case studies are used for the more detailed exploration of heterosexual affairs and contemporary developments in gay male and lesbian relationships.
The State of Affairs will be of interest to researchers, scholars, and students in social psychology; communication; sociology; family, social, and clinical psychology; and for practitioners in couple counseling.
"Drawing on social psychology, psychology, sociology, and family systems, with various theoretical and methodological perspectives, The State of Affairs is a rich resource for the seasoned counselor and the new professional."
—The Family Journal
Contents: S. Duck, Series Foreword. K. Harrison, D. Marsden, Preface. L. VanderVoort, S. Duck, Sex, Lies, and…Transformation. D.H.J. Morgan, The Sociological Significance of Affairs. L. Jamieson, Intimacy, Negotiated Nonmonogamy, and the Limits of the Couple. A.L. Vangelisti, M. Gerstenberger, Communication and Marital Infidelity. O. Kontula, E. Haavio-Mannila, Renaissance of Romanticism in the Era of Increasing Individualism. B.P. Buunk, P. Dijkstra, Men, Women, and Infidelity: Sex Differences in Extradyadic Sex and Jealousy. G. Allan, Being Unfaithful: His and Her Affairs. J. Duncombe, D. Marsden, "From Here to Epiphany…": Power and Identity in the Narrative of an Affair. B. Heaphy, C. Donovan, J. Weeks, A Different Affair? Openness and Nonmonogamy in Same Sex Relationships. J. Duncombe, D. Marsden, Affairs and Children. K. Harrison, The Role of Female Friends in the Management of Affairs.