What can Sociology tell us about our personal lives, families and intimate relationships? This book explains how key theoretical perspectives and relevant contemporary research in the discipline can shed new light on even the most familiar areas of our everyday worlds. From friendships and pets, to political engagement and social legislation, the text shows how distinctions and connections can be drawn between our public and private lives. Each chapter explores a familiar topic that illustrates how individual relationships and lives can be shaped by social contexts, and how personal choices shape the wider social world. Using vivid case examples drawn from topical areas of debate, such as marriage rights and the role of social networking, the book is clearly laid out and easy to read. It gives useful explanations of theory and invaluable advice on how to carry out research on personal lives and relationships. This is essential reading for students of Sociology interested in family, relationships and beyond.