Tracing Family Lines: The Impact of Genealogy Research on Family Communication

Overview

Family genealogy research has grown exponentially over the past decade, making it an area worthy of scholarly inquest. Tracing Family Lines: The Impact of Genealogy Research on Family Communication, by Amy M. Smith, explores the connection between women and genealogy by examining the ways inherited familial narratives and data work to position women within American culture. Although studies of women’s lives are on the rise, the standpoint(s) of women has historically been marginalized, particularly as women ...

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Tracing Family Lines: The Impact of Genealogy Research on Family Communication

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Overview

Family genealogy research has grown exponentially over the past decade, making it an area worthy of scholarly inquest. Tracing Family Lines: The Impact of Genealogy Research on Family Communication, by Amy M. Smith, explores the connection between women and genealogy by examining the ways inherited familial narratives and data work to position women within American culture. Although studies of women’s lives are on the rise, the standpoint(s) of women has historically been marginalized, particularly as women continue to be relegated to domestic and family care. Through researching these standpoints, we are better able to see the political constructions of sexist oppression, as well as the ways genealogy offers a possible site for resistance. Interviewing women who are engaged in the act of researching their own family genealogy provides insight into their motivation for doing so. In documenting the family communication that surrounds the genealogical data, as well as studying the family organizational structure, this study contributes to the existing research regarding family history and family narrative. As many of these women are members of local genealogical societies, they are also able to address aspects of community membership, and the positioning of women within these organizations. As women and genealogy are both under-researched, Tracing Family Lines illuminates the experiences of women genealogists, to understand the impact of genealogical data upon family communication, and to explore family genealogy as a site of feminist resistance to the socio-political marginalization of women.

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Editorial Reviews

Christopher N. Poulos
In Tracing Family Lines, Dr. Amy M. Smith artfully weaves her personal quest to understand her family history into a broader—and deeper—look at the vibrant intersections of story, history, and communication in families. This book will no doubt become an important volume for scholars and teachers interested in families, family communication, family stories, family histories, and geneaological research.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780739166208
  • Publisher: Lexington Books
  • Publication date: 10/18/2012
  • Pages: 130
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Amy M. Smith is assistant professor at Salem State University in Salem, Massachusetts.

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1. The Spark of Interest
Chapter 2. Meeting Your Ancestors
Chapter 3. Planting the Family Tree
Chapter 4. Family Connections
Chapter 5. Reclaiming the Past for the Future
Chapter 6. One Big Happy Family
Chapter 7. Passing it On

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