Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.
Unhitched: Love, Marriage, and Family Values from West Hollywood to Western China Hardcover – May 2, 2011
Top 20 lists in Books
View the top 20 best sellers of all time, the most reviewed books of all time and some of our editors' favorite picks. Learn more
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
From Publishers Weekly
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Unhitched thoughtfully explains how unconventional relationships can thrive across cultures with some intention and practice...The book says it's about love and marriage, but it's actually about parenthood and the myriad of ways a family can look to support raising children well." -Bitch Magazine
“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
"In her new book, Unhitched, Judith Stacey, a sociologist at NYU, surveys a variety of unconventional arrangements, from gay parenthood to polygamy to—in a mesmerizing case study—the Mosuo people of southwest China, who eschew marriage and visit their lovers only under cover of night."-Kate Bolick,The Atlantic
"Stacey certainly makes a passionate case with a surprising amount of information on her side."-Anthropology Review Database
"The book is thought provoking, engaging, and makes important contributions to the study of families."-Joya Misra,International Journal of Comparative Sociology
“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
"Judith Stacey is a great writer, whose clear style and provocative arguments make her one of the most compelling and most engaging feminist writers of our time."-Social Forces
"The richness of data, the detective-like quality of the prose, and its social and political relevance are sure to make Unhitched a provocative and invaluable contribution to the study of family and intimacy."-Kimberly D. Richman,American Journal of Sociology
“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
“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
"The book is openly taking a strong normative stance against attempts at regulating the family."-Anca Gheaus,Metapsychology
More About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
Her approach in UNHITCHED is original and engaging: an ethnographic journey to three very different cultures - gay men in Los Angeles, diverse South African families with an emphasis on polygamy, and the Mosuo, a non-marrying tribe in China -- to investigate the tensions between desire and domesticity and the surprising forms that intimacy and commitment can assume. It's rigorously researched, but Stacey wears her scholarship lightly and writes with verve and wit.
There are plenty of surprises; Stacey isn't afraid to ask tough questions or to challenge conventional wisdom. UNHITCHED overturned many of my assumptions about monogamy, plural marriage, and gay fatherhood. I didn't know, for example, that gay men more readily adopt children of another race, class, ethnicity, and even health status (also true of their intimate relationships with adults). Stacey reconsiders polygyny, comparing the United States (where family law is rigid but social and economic opportunity relatively fluid) to South Africa (where the law is progressive but stark race and gender inequality persist).Read more ›
Stacey, in expressing her contempt for our society's preference for monogamy, never looks backwards at history any earlier than her own childhood. A British family historian once commented that a frustration in his field was making people understand that nuclear families are traditional in that society from which our own largely developed. Most people think that a few generations ago, people routinely lived in multigenerational households, when in fact that was only as required by poverty or illness. That in itself limits how families can be structured. And as my sociology professor said, the pieces of a culture interlock, one cannot simply import random bits from here and there and have it work, but I am willing to try to integrate new ideas, as our culture has always done. Interesting though her case studies are, she needs a broader range of them, with statistical analysis, to truly support the positions that she takes, particularly since she has an obvious agenda. Furthermore, while I believe that people who are responsible, affectionate, and care about their relationships may structure idiosyncratic systems that work for them, I don't assume that people, as a whole, left to do whatever they like, are going to be any more caring and responsible than current monogamists. The bottom line for me is, are the kids being taken care of?Read more ›