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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(2), 203; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15020203

The Weakening of Kin Ties: Exploring the Need for Life-World Led Interventions

1
Department of Medical Humanities, VU University Medical Centre, P.O. Box 7057, 1007 MB Amsterdam, The Netherlands
2
Edith Cowan University, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Building 21, Room 21.423, 270 Joondalup Drive, Joondalup, WA 6027, Australia
Visiting address: Van der Boechorststraat 7, 1081 BT Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 1 November 2017 / Revised: 18 January 2018 / Accepted: 19 January 2018 / Published: 25 January 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health and Social Care and Social Interventions)
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Abstract

The protective features that families and wider social relationships can have are required to meet the demands of life in contemporary Western societies. Choice and detraditionalization, however; impede this source of solidarity. Family Group Conferencing (FGC) and other life-world led interventions have the potential to strengthen primary groups. This paper explores the need for such a social intervention, using insights from sociological and philosophical theories and empirical findings from a case study of the research project ‘FGC in mental health’. This need is understandable considering the weakening of kin ties, the poor qualities of state agencies to mobilise self-care and informal care, its capacity to produce a shift of power from public to private spheres and its capacity to mitigate the co-isolation of individuals, families and communities. A life-world led intervention like FGC with a specific and modest ambition contributes to small-scale solidarity. This ambition is not inclined to establish a broad social cohesion within society but to restore; in terms of the German philosopher Peter Sloterdijk; immunity (protection) and solidarity in primary groups, and consequently, resolve issues with those (family, neighbours, colleagues) who share a sphere (a situation, a process, a fate). View Full-Text
Keywords: Family Group Conferencing; life-world led interventions; thick and thin solidarity; social embeddedness; kin ties; Sloterdijk’s sphere theory Family Group Conferencing; life-world led interventions; thick and thin solidarity; social embeddedness; kin ties; Sloterdijk’s sphere theory
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Schout, G.; de Jong, G. The Weakening of Kin Ties: Exploring the Need for Life-World Led Interventions. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15, 203.

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