By George Klaus Levinger, Harold L. Raush

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Extra info for Close relationships: perspectives on the meaning of intimacy

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There is, however, a paradox. While expected to control his world, the individual is constantly reminded of his impotence. The media daily inform him of events beyond his control. Increasingly, he has become an anonymous product in a world geared to mass production. As a *In the following paragraphs, read "he" as he or she and "his" as his or her. Page ix consumer, he is as "packaged" as the products of the market in which he is an anonymous customer. As a producer, he is a cog in a machine whose complexities are beyond his understanding.

We see a decline of community support systemsnot only of neighboring kin, but also of modest institutions like the corner grocery or the neighborhood bar. Increased mobility and decreased family size further the individual's isolation. It is no surprise, then, that the intimate relationship has come to be seen as a refugea respite from alienation at one's place of work, from isolation in the community, from the incomprehensibility of technology, and from social anonymity. But the walls of that refuge often crumble under the weight they bear.

Teachers who can allow non-role elements in their relationships with certain students can have extraordinary influence on these young people. An important element in the student's attraction to the teacher is often the teacher's broad Page 20 knowledge. Wanting to "know as much" or "be as creative" as an admired teacher is certainly one of the critical thrusts in many of our early intellectual histories, just as is the feeling of wanting to be very good at something, to do very well, in response to an admired teacher's clear expectation that one can.

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