Care relationships
Care relationships

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

Free course

Care relationships

1.9 Conclusion

In this course you have seen the importance of the shared meanings that we construct together – how they enable us to act collectively within social situations. In particular, you have explored Goffman’s ideas about how those meanings are constructed through:

  • the way we present ourselves within social situations

  • the way we respond to other people’s presentation of themselves and help to shore up their performances.

It is particularly important in a care context to understand the way meanings are negotiated within relationships. Caring activities often cut across the ordinary everyday meanings we project into relationships. This is particularly the case when care activities involve the body. So awkward situations can arise, where there is confusion about who is supposed to be doing what, and for what reason. Understanding the scenes set for relationships, the roles people adopt, and the scripts and props used to create the meanings that impact on caring relationships is helpful for understanding the difficulties and supporting an effective relationship.


Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to University-level study, we offer two introductory routes to our qualifications. You could either choose to start with an Access module, or a module which allows you to count your previous learning towards an Open University qualification. Read our guide on Where to take your learning next for more information.

Not ready for formal University study? Then browse over 1000 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus371