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Title:Queering the American family: belief, fallacy & myth
Author(s):Quinn, Kevin
Director of Research:Denzin, Norman K.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Marshall, Anna-Maria
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Denzin, Norman K.; Kenney, Catherine T.; Poster, Winifred; Manalansan, Martin F.
Department / Program:Sociology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or questioning (LGBTQ)
Abstract:In the existing, but sparse academic literature that exists, queer lives and lifestyles have consistently been juxtaposed to an intangible hetero-normative ideal. This becomes particularly problematic for the study of this distinctly varied population, when operationalizing gendered markers that are typically correlated with the concept of relationships, family and family life. Many, if not most of the indices are composed of dichotomous variables that are only applicable to the lives of a hetero-normative population. Today, it is still the case that those who declare LBGTQ identities often do so at the risk of undermining relationships with families of origin (Patterson, 2000). It is also the case that we have our most intimate of relationships vilified and marginalized, though I argue, more covertly than overtly forty plus years after the Stonewall riots. It is of particular interest to my research to ascertain just how queers construct the concept of partnership and of family. Are queer couplings destined to fail, unstable, as is the argument social conservatives? What forms of social networks are formed within the queer “community”? How do LGBTQs construct the concept of family? Where does the “Fictive” familial unit (Schneider, 1984) fit into queer lives and how does that differ from the hetero-normative extended family? Is it possible for same-sex couples – denied the rights and privileges appropriated exclusively by heterosexual married or unmarried partners – to find fulfillment when they are not – under our current system of government – even considered a legitimate family? Queering the American Family involves different ways of knowing that have been prominent in feminists' peace research and feminist politics. An understanding of the complex ontologies, faced by the sexually marginalized based on a lifetime of accepted prejudices is an important aspect of this research. Limits to political power, loss of familial support and learning to navigate the complexities of life without the benefit of role models are just a few of the elements to be addressed in this facet of my research.
Issue Date:2013-02-03
Rights Information:Copyright 2012 Kevin Brandyon Quinn
Date Available in IDEALS:2013-02-03
Date Deposited:2012-12

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