Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.
For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.
Unhitched: Love, Marriage, and Family Values from West Hollywood to Western China available in Hardcover
Judith Stacey, 2012 winner of the Simon and Gagnon Lifetime Achievement Award presented by the American Sociological Association.
A leading expert on the family, Judith Stacey is known for her provocative research on mainstream issues. Finding herself impatient with increasingly calcified positions taken in the interminable wars over same-sex marriage, divorce, fatherlessness, marital fidelity, and the like, she struck out to profile unfamiliar cultures of contemporary love, marriage, and family values from around the world.
Built on bracing original research that spans gay men’s intimacies and parenting in America to plural and non-marital forms of family in South Africa and China, Unhitched decouples the taken for granted relationships between love, marriage, and parenthood. Countering the one-size-fits-all vision of family values, Stacey offers readers a lively, in-person introduction to these less familiar varieties of intimacy and family and to the social, political, and economic conditions that buttress and batter them.
Through compelling stories of real families navigating inescapable personal and political trade-offs between desire and domesticity, the book undermines popular convictions about family, gender, and sexuality held on the left, right, and center. Taking on prejudices of both conservatives and feminists, Unhitched poses a powerful empirical challenge to the belief that the nuclear family—whether straight or gay—is the single, best way to meet our needs for intimacy and care. Stacey calls on citizens and policy-makers to make their peace with the fact that family diversity is here to stay.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Tolstoy Was Wrong 1
1 Love, Sex, and Kinship in Gay El Lay 13
2 Gay Parenthood and the End of Paternity as We Knew It 49
3 A South African Slant on the Slippery Slope 89
4 Paradoxes of Polygamy and Modernity 122
5 Unhitching the Horse from the Carriage: Love without Marriage among the Mosuo 152
Conclusion: Forsaking No Others 188
Appendix: A Co-parenting Agreement 209
About the Author 275
What People are Saying About This
“An engagingly written and highly readable book that deals with a crucial and controversial related set of issues: the nature of contemporary family life, kinship, love, parenting, intimacy, and how to live with diversity. No one is better qualified to take this on than Judith Stacey. She manages to combine the commitment of the serious ethnographer with the enthusiasm and insight of the eager traveler. This is an essential book.”-Jeffrey Weeks,author of The World We Have Won
“Unhitched will enrage some readers and delight others, but anyone interested in contemporary debates about marriage, sexuality, and family life must read this richly detailed, rigorously argued book.”-Stephanie Coontz,author of Marriage, A History: How Love Conquered Marriage
“Unhitched is Judith Stacey's richest and most provocative work to date. Tirelessly championing diverse varieties of intimate life, she has long refused to succumb to simplistic, homogenizing notions of ‘the family.’ Unhitched continues in this vein, bringing together a fascinating mix of ethnographic research on same-sex intimacies in this country, and plural and non-marital family forms in South Africa and China. It poses a powerful empirical challenge to the belief that the nuclear family—in both its hetero and homo variants—best fulfills our needs for intimacy and security."-Arlene Stein,author of The Stranger Next Door
“Unhitched is a wild ride through the political and emotional worlds of family life. With a sociologist’s skill, Judith Stacey uncovers the very diverse shapes of human families; with a novelist’s skill, she tells us how they are lived. The disappointing options available to many women in a world of inequality appear; so do the creative responses. A lively and important book.”-Raewyn Connell,author of Gender: In World Perspective and Southern Theory
“Throughout her travels and exhaustive research, Stacey pokes and prods, and eagerly calls into question everything we think we know about love, marriage, and the baby in the baby carriage.”-Publishers Weekly