Kinship and intimacy
Keywords:kinship, family, siblings, intimacy, personal relationships, love
We think about personal relationships in two distinct ways. The first focuses on relationships between blood relatives: parents and their children, siblings, and perhaps first cousins. The second focuses on intimacy: relationships where each individual is honest to and trusting of the other; each cares for the other and seeks the other’s company. In this article I ask how these two conceptions are, can be, or should be linked. Should we strive to make all relationships with kin intimate? Even if the answer is a qualified “No,” does that mean relationships with kin are not valuable? I offer some tentative answers to these questions. Despite its limitations, I hope this provides a framework from which future exploration of these issues might profitably begin.