Gay Fathers, Their Children, and the Making of Kinship (Hardback)Aaron Goodfellow (author)
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While the topic of gay marriage and families continues to be popular in the media, few scholarly works focus on gay men with children. Based on ten years of fieldwork among gay families living in the rural, suburban, and urban area of the eastern United States, Gay Fathers, Their Children, and the Making of Kinship presents a beautifully written and meticulously argued ethnography of gay men and the families they have formed.
In a culture that places a premium on biology as the founding event of paternity, Aaron Goodfellow poses the question: Can the signing of legal contracts and the public performances of care replace biological birth as the singular event marking the creation of fathers? Beginning with a comprehensive review of the relevant literature in this field, four chapters-each presenting a particular picture of paternity-explore a range of issues, such as interracial adoption, surrogacy, the importance of physical resemblance in familial relationships, single parenthood, delinquency, and the ways in which the state may come to define the norms of health. The author deftly illustrates how fatherhood for gay men draws on established biological, theological, and legal images of the family often thought oppressive to the emergence of queer forms of social life.
Chosen with care and described with great sensitivity, each carefully researched case examines gay fatherhood through life narratives. Painstakingly theorized, Gay Fathers, Their Children, and the Making of Kinship contends that gay families are one of the most important areas to which social scientists might turn in order to understand how law, popular culture, and biology are simultaneously made manifest and interrogated in everyday life. By focusing specifically on gay fathers, Goodfellow produces an anthropological account of how paternity, sexuality, and masculinity are leveraged in relations of care between gay fathers and their children.
Publisher: Fordham University Press
Number of pages: 192
Weight: 408 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 20 mm
"Queer kinship is far from `virtually normal': it remains uncanny. Aaron Goodfellow's in-depth study of gay fathers gives voices and faces to these precarious families. Individual stories illustrate how these men painfully strive to embody norms that leave them at the threshold of family life." -- -Eric Fassin * professor of Sociology and Gender Studies, Paris-8 University *
"Gay Fathers, Their Children, and the Making of Kinship is beautifully written, meticulously argued, and painstakingly theorized. Goodfellow demonstrates a mastery of a wide range of theoretical literature, bringing anthropology into conversation with philosophy and invigorating very longstanding debates in anthropology with new insight. This is the most innovative book on kinship since Schneider's American Kinship." -- -Sameena Mulla * Marquette University *
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