Modern Families: Stories of Extraordinary Journeys to Kinship (Hardback)
  • Modern Families: Stories of Extraordinary Journeys to Kinship (Hardback)
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Modern Families: Stories of Extraordinary Journeys to Kinship (Hardback)

(author), (foreword)
£26.99
Hardback 240 Pages / Published: 10/09/2015
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A personal, intimate account of the extraordinary ways that today's families are being created.

From adoption and assisted reproduction, to gay and straight parents, coupled and single, and multi-parent families, the stories in Modern Families explain how individuals make unconventional families by accessing a broad range of technological, medical and legal choices that expand our definitions of parenting and kinship. Joshua Gamson introduces us to a child with two mothers, made with one mother's egg and the sperm of a man none of them has ever met; another born in Ethiopia, delivered by his natural grandmother to an orphanage after both his parents died in close succession, and then to the arms of his mother, who is raising him solo.
These tales are deeply personal and political. The process of forming these families involved jumping tremendous hurdles-social conventions, legal and medical institutions-with heightened intention and inventiveness, within and across multiple inequities and privileges. Yet each of these families, however they came to be, shares the same universal joys that all families share.
A companion for all those who choose to navigate the world of modern kinship, Modern Families provides a "fascinating look at the remarkable range of experiences that is broadening the very idea of family" (Booklist).

Publisher: New York University Press
ISBN: 9781479842469
Number of pages: 240
Weight: 499 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 25 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
"[T]hese tales are...a warmhearted and normalizing look at some rare kinds of families."-Choice
"In Modern Families, Gamson offers both the personal and the critical perspectives. The stories of the journeys to kinship are beautifully rendered, novelistic page-turners. They are told, though, in context of the overarching social forces and disparities."-PsychCentral.com
"[A] fascinating look at the remarkable range of experiences that is broadening the very idea of family."-Booklist
"Modern Families is about people whoattempt to create an ordinary child through extraordinary means.Their journey starts-and their child's OriginStory begins-by navigating the worlds of assisted reproduction, new forms ofco-parenting and global adoption. In doing so, these families challengeboundaries of traditional kinship and intimacies. Featured tales of parenthood are told against abackdrop of rapidly changing advances in biomedicine, the expansion of theInternet and globalizing markets.Josh Gamson, a gifted writer, delivers a provocative and memorable book."-Rosanna Hertz,author of Single by Chance, Mothers by Choice
"Takes the reader on an intimate journey through some of the many extraordinary pathways to parenthood available in the early twenty-first century."-Sociological Forum
"Both seriously passionate about his cause and irrepressibly funny, Gamson takes us into the newworld of unconventional family making. Making his way past the wagging fingers, he takesimportant new questions to the public square. If two men want a baby, whose egg and womb willit be, and what will be their relationships to the two women involved? How do we buy genes orborrow wombs or adopt children without letting the market take over the storyand meaning? Modern Families is a deeply compassionate voyage into uncharted territory."-Arlie Hochschild,author of The Outsourced Self: Intimate Life in Market Times
"What is so deft about Modern Families is the ease with which Gamson weaves together individual stories about creating families with academic research about the process, from single parenthood to gay parenting to reproductive technologies...he describes the often heart-wrenching emotional and technological lengths they had to go to. There are moments in all these accounts that will bring you to tears."-In These Times
"These 'bedtime stories' should expand the hearts and minds of readers. Josh Gamson's exquisitely rendered tales of brave new family-making routes to contemporary parenthood and kinship aim to advance the dream of reproductive freedom."-Judith Stacey,author of Unhitched: Love, Marriage, and Family Values from West Hollywood to Western China
"Gamson successfully weaves together the personal and the academic throughout the book. He takes personal stories and situates them in more complicated institutions and social structures."-Brain Child Magazine
"Thesefamily making journeys raise hard questions, but offer no formulaicanswers. These are stories of choices made consciously and sometimes uncomfortablyto create and combine lives amidst the messy human realities of desire,commerce, science, faith, community and family. This collection is not aroadmap; it is a companion for all those who choose to navigate the world ofmodern kinship."-from the Foreword by Melissa Harris-Perry
"[Gamson] shares their tales with an engaging, gently humorous, and at times poetic style. At the same time, he also teases out the connections between individual family stories and the social systems in which they are immersed."-Philadelphia Gay News
"The various stories of family creation told in Modern Families--the struggles and the successes--are quite moving."-Brain, Child Magazine
"In this book, both carefully observed anddeeply felt, Joshua Gamson gives voice to the changing nature of family inmodern America. The new relationships he describes are complicated andsometimes difficult, but also suffused with love. This beautifullyconstructed and often hilarious manifesto rings with hope for a society inwhich everyone is free not only to marry but also to designate as familywhomever he or she chooses."-Andrew Solomon,author of Far from the Tree: Parents, Children, and the Search for Identity
"Rich in dramatic tensions, private passions and public and political moral complexities, these 'creation stories' of having children in unusual family contexts make the famous tale of descending from Lady Bracknell's handbag pale in comparison."-Times Higher Education
"Gamson's description of the fierce love and determination that drove the creation of these families is candid and moving...[A] compelling book."-Times Literary Supplement

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