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Families We Choose: Lesbians, Gays, Kinship Paperback – December 6, 1997

4.0 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Part of the new series entitled "Between Men-Between Women: Lesbian and Gay Studies," this book demands--and deserves--thorough and careful reading. With weighty prose, Weston, an anthropology professor, writes that gays and lesbians, long seen as exiles from kinship ties, are choosing to create their own families. Arguing that these "chosen" families cannot be understood apart from the "straight" families in which gays and lesbians grew up, she draws on interviews to describe gays' relationships with their straight families. Weston places her interpretation in perspective with historical and legal background information and extended quotations from interviewees. She avoids the cold statistics characteristic of similar studies, so her book may appeal to lay readers no longer satisfied with pop-psych sentimentality. A well-documented work for gay studies collections.
-Eric Bryant, "Library Journal"
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

Graceful.... Valuable for the ways it demonstrates that, like race, gender and sexual identity, the meaning of kinship is culturally relative--and susceptible to change.

(The Women's Review of Books)

The first to analyze the historical conditions, social meaning, and political implications of lesbians and gays' appropriating the language of kinship...A fine book.

(Contemporary Sociology)

Represents a new direction in lesbian and gay studies and in the anthropology of American culture.

(SIGNS: Journal of Women in Culture and Society)

This book demands--and deserves--thorough and careful reading....A well-documented work for gay studies collections.

(Library Journal)

Weighs in as an important contribution to current debates about family and family values.

(American Journal of Sociology)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press; Revised edition (April 15, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0231110936
  • ISBN-13: 978-0231110938
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #863,163 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I found Kath Westons book "Families We Choose:lesbians, gays, kinship" to be a very interesting and informative book. This book brought many issues to the table regarding the idea of a family. What is a family? family is not solely limited to biology. This book explored the idea of kinship in lesbian and gay relationships and the family that is formed within this community. Also, the difference and the importance of "biological" family vs. chosen family and which becomes or is more important based on acceptance. This book explores issues concerning the lesbian and gay community in regards to raising children and creating families of their own in the nineties incorporating both biological and chosen families. In overview, The idea of kinship is culturally relative and it is suseptible to change. The word kinship and the meaing of family is constantly being challenged and changed to incorporate and include those previously unseen.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I read this book in my Anthropology class as part of my final ethnography report paper, and I was blown away. If you are interested in LGBT history/studies, I highly recommend it. Intricately researched, with a diverse pool of subjects, it gives insight into the concept of what a "family" is and what it entails to the LGBT community, who all too often struggle with acceptance from their own biological families, and therefore explore forming their own, be it in conventional fashion or not.
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Format: Paperback
As a gay man, the cover photo on this revised edition (by Chantel Regnault)

spoke volumes to me, and I knew I had to take a look at this book! It was

enjoyable and well worth the effort, as Weston takes us on a scholarly tour

of several articles and issues gay and lesbians and minority cultures often

face. She proposed that the meaning of "kinship" is culturally defined, and

indeed is a "power", a force, a technique that gays and lesbians can and do use to create thier own "families" that are likewise culturally and contextually defined, whether or not there is a common "bloodline". Essenetial reading for the intelligent citizen of any race, gender or

sexual orientation!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is very informative. I got it quickly. I recommended many people buy it.
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Format: Paperback
A L-I-T-T-L-E too academic for me! However, I admire the effort and would like to read more about queer families.
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