Recognizing Ourselves: Ceremonies of Lesbian and Gay Commitment

Overview

Ellen Lewin, who has consecrated her own lesbian relationship with a commitment ceremony, decided to explore the myriad ways in which lesbians and gay men create meaningful ceremonies for themselves. She offers the first comprehensive account of lesbian and gay weddings in modern America. A series of richly detailed profiles - the result of extensive interviews and participation in the planning and realization of many of these commitment rituals - is woven together to show how new traditions, and ultimately new ...
See more details below
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (12) from $1.99   
  • New (1) from $57.38   
  • Used (11) from $1.99   
Sending request ...

Overview

Ellen Lewin, who has consecrated her own lesbian relationship with a commitment ceremony, decided to explore the myriad ways in which lesbians and gay men create meaningful ceremonies for themselves. She offers the first comprehensive account of lesbian and gay weddings in modern America. A series of richly detailed profiles - the result of extensive interviews and participation in the planning and realization of many of these commitment rituals - is woven together to show how new traditions, and ultimately new families, are emerging within contemporary America. Lewin explores the ceremonies themselves, which range from traditional church weddings to Wicca rituals in the countryside, with portraits of the planning, the joys, and the anxieties that led up to the weddings.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Esther Newton
In the best tradition of public, thought-provoking, and accessible anthropology pioneered by Margaret Mead and Ruth Benedict, this elegantly written account of gay and lesbian marriage ceremonies brings both empathy and discernment to bear on queer culture and politics in the making. Interweaving moving narratives and rituals with wide ranging cultural criticism, Lewin provides an analytic frame for understanding American culture´s evolving values about kinship, love, and commitment.
Kath Weston
A sensitive treatment of the cultural issues associated with the debate on gay marriage. Lewin does an exceptional job of conveying why weddings -those most ordinary of extraordinary rituals -should have become so compelling to a wide range of lesbians and gay men.
Choice
Lesbian and gay commitment ceremonies are shown to dramatize key issues not only in their culture but also in the wider American culture. Written in a nonscientific but professional manner, the book offers further stimulus for a change in laws to provide legal recognition for same-sex marriages.
Evan Wolfson
As gay people advance toward sharing in the freedom to marry that our non-gay brothers and sisters take for granted, this book is a rich reminder that at the heart of the civil rights struggle are the couples themselves. . . . Lewin's account helps explain why gay couples will win the freedom to marry, and the sky won't fall.
San Francisco Bay Times
Not a how-to guide, but rather profiles and portraits of same-sex marriages intertwined with the surrounding politics.
Library Journal
Lewin (Inventing Lesbian Cultures in America, Beacon, 1996), who describes herself as a "married lesbian," seeks to "fashion a cultural understanding of lesbian and gay weddings as powerful and complex ritual occasions." Her book opens with a discussion of the current legal and political status of same-sex marriage but focuses mostly on individual commitment ceremonies and the analysis of how these rituals relate to the themes of tradition, family, community, authenticity, and resistance. As opposed to many recent books, e.g., Becky Butler's Ceremonies of the Heart: Celebrating Lesbian Unions (Seal Pr.-Feminist, 1997), meant to help couples design their own ceremonies, this work is a scholarly, anthropological analysis of the ceremonies themselves. As legalizing same-sex marriage is currently being hotly debated, this work provides an important look at the meaning of the ceremonies for those involved. Recommended for academic libraries.Debra Moore, Loyola Marymount Univ. Lib., Los Angeles
Booknews
Lewin (anthropology and women's studies, U. of Iowa), a lesbian who has been through a commitment ceremony with her partner, uses numerous profiles to provide an in-depth account of lesbian and gay weddings in America. She examines the legal, ethnic, social, psychological, and political issues involved in individual ceremonies, including several large events such as the April 1993 National March on Washington for Lesbian, Gay, and Bi Equal Rights and Liberation and the mass lesbian and gay marriage in San Francisco in March of 1996. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
San Francisco Bay Times

Not a how-to guide, but rather profiles and portraits of same-sex marriages intertwined with the surrounding politics.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

Meet the Author

Ellen Lewin is professor of anthropology and women's studies at the University of Iowa. She is the author of Lesbian Mothers: Accounts of Gender in American Culture, coeditor, with William Leap, of Out in the Field: Reflections of Gay and Lesbian Anthropologists, and editor of Inventing Lesbian Cultures in America.

Columbia University Press

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)