The Family of Woman: Lesbian Mothers, Their Children, and the Undoing of Gender

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University of California Press, Sep 6, 2004 - Social Science - 323 pages
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Amidst the shrill and discordant notes struck in debates over the make-up—or breakdown—of the American family, the family keeps evolving. This book offers a close and clear-eyed look into a form this change has taken most recently, the lesbian coparent family. Based on intensive interviews and extensive firsthand observation, The Family of Woman chronicles the experience of thirty-four families headed by lesbian mothers whose children were conceived by means of donor insemination.With its intimate perspective on the interior dynamics of these families and its penetrating view of their public lives, the book provides rare insight into the workings of emerging family forms and their significance for our understanding of "family"—and our culture itself.
 

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Contents

Introduction
1
The Emergence of LesbianCoparent Families in Postmodern Society
17
Becoming Parents Baby Making in the Age of Assisted Procreation
40
Being Parents The End of Oedipus and the Expansion of Intimacy
62
Undoing the Gender Division of Labor
93
Truth and Reconciliation Families of Origin Come Around and Come Out
124
Becoming Familiar in the Community of Strangers
157
The Structure of DonorExtended Kinship
190
The Theoretical Future of a Conscious Feminist Kinship
211
Families by the Bay The Study Design Method and Participant
231
Notes
247
Bibliography
285
Index
305
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About the author (2004)

Maureen Sullivan is Assistant Professor of Sociology, Northern Illinois University.

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