This paper focuses on the neglected issue of encounters with difference within the context of family life at a moment in time when families are increasingly characterised by dissimilarity as a product of mobility and individualisation. The study upon which this paper is based involved both a survey of social attitudes (survey n = 3021) and qualitative multi‐stage research (n = 60). The evidence of the findings is that intra‐familial diversity does produce more positive attitudes in public life towards the specific social group that an individual family member is perceived to represent. However, such positive attitudes are not translated beyond this specific ‘difference’ to challenge wider prejudices towards other groups. As such, this research contributes to literatures on geographies of encounter and the geographies of family life by exposing the limits of intimate contact with difference in changing the way social relationships are lived in the wider world.
Bibliographical noteThis is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution‐NonCommercial‐NoDerivs License, which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non‐commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made.
This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Valentine, G, Piekut, A & Mansfield, C 2015, 'Intimate encounters: the negotiation of difference within the family and its implications for social relations in public space' The Geographical Journal, vol 181, no. 3, pp. 280-294,which has been published in final form at https://dx.doi.org/10.1111/geoj.12095
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