Same Sex Intimacies: Families of Choice and Other Life Experiments

Same Sex Intimacies: Families of Choice and Other Life Experiments

by Catherine Donovan
Pub. Date:
Taylor & Francis
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Same Sex Intimacies: Families of Choice and Other Life Experiments

Our families are increasingly a matter of choice, and the choices are widening all the time. This is particularly true of the non-heterosexual world, where the last ten years have seen a popular acceptance of same sex partnerships and, to a lesser extent, of same sex parenting.

Based on extensive interviews with people in a variety of non-traditional relationships, this fascinating new book argues that these developments in the non-heterosexual world are closely linked to wider changes in the meaning of family in society at large, and that each can cast light on the other.

Same Sex Intimacies gives vivid accounts of the different ways non-heterosexual people have been able to create meaningful intimate relationships for themselves, and highlights the role of individual agency and collective endeavour in forging these roles: as friends, partners, parents and as members of communities. This topical book will provide compelling reading for students of the family, sexuality and lesbian and gay studies.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780415254762
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Publication date: 07/18/2001
Pages: 256
Product dimensions: 6.25(w) x 9.25(h) x 0.75(d)

Table of Contents

Happy families?1
'Pick and mix' relationships3
Stories we tell each other5
About the book7
1Families of choice: the changing context of non-heterosexual relationships9
The emergence of families of choice9
From identity to relational rights13
The politics of intimate life19
Living 'connected lives'25
2Life experiments: the meanings of non-heterosexual relationships28
Life stories28
A 'queer construct family'37
The heterosexual assumption39
Everyday experiments47
3The friendship ethic51
The power of friendship51
Patterns of friendship53
Facing fateful moments58
The complexities of friendship61
The value of commitment69
The significance of the friendship ethic76
4In search of home77
The different meaning of 'home'77
First home77
Tales of the city82
Reflexive community86
Multiple belongings90
Ways of living93
Everyday practices98
Home, community and care101
5Partnership rites104
The egalitarian ideal109
Living with power114
Intimacy and love119
Affirming commitment127
6Sexual pleasures132
The value of sex132
Doing gender?138
Undoing gender?145
Ethics of relating148
Erotics and ethical practice153
The 'gayby' boom157
Parenting stories160
Parenting practices168
Caring practices174
The needs of children178
8Towards intimate citizenship180
The unfinished revolution180
The possibilities181
The risks184
Practices of freedom186
Assimilation or difference?191
Intimate citizenship196
Appendix 1Researching Same Sex Intimacies200
Appendix 2Biographies of interviewees207

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