Public perceptions: private experiences
T he title of this chapter mirrors a typical contrast: public set against private. There are other means of expressing it -- for example: outer world-inner world, social-psychological. All too often when marriage is discussed it is the point and counterpoint that are stressed. Therapist and sociologist stand on either side of marriage, one inside, one outside, each tending to view the other's perspective predominantly as a backdrop to their own observations.
However, a growing number of sociologists and therapists working in the field of marriage and family relationships yearn for a greater dialogue, each recognizing the value of widening their observations -- that private lives have public significance, and, correlatively, that social trends have individual consequences ( Collard & Mansfield, 1991). Marriage is, then, "a bridge between public and private worlds" ( Clulow & Mattinson, 1989). Indeed, the family can be regarded as the____________________