THROUGH extending the idea of complexity to the domain of personal and informal relationship, the authority of expertise has sought to colonise the private sphere. One of the characteristic features of modern times is that the decline of taken for granted ways of doing things has encouraged the perception that individuals are not able to manage important aspects of their life without professional guidance. Frequently the conduct of routine forms of social interaction are represented as difficult and complicated, which is why child-rearing can be treated as a science and why we often talk about parenting skills, social skills, communication skills and relationship skills. The belief that the conduct of everyday encounters requires special skills has created an opportunity for the expert to colonise the realm of personal relations.

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