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Is Kinship Always Already Heterosexual?

Is Kinship Always Already Heterosexual? d i f f e r e n c e s institutes relationships of various kinds which negotiate the reproduction of life and the demands of death, then kinship practices will be those that emerge to address fundamental forms of human dependency, which may include birth, child-rearing, relations of emotional dependency and support, generational ties, illness, dying, and death (to name a few). Kinship is neither a fully autonomous sphere, proclaimed to be distinct from community and friendship—or the regulations of the state—through some definitional fiat, nor is it “over” or “dead” just because, as David Schneider has consequentially argued, it has lost the capacity to be formalized and tracked in the conventional ways that ethnologists in the past have attempted to do.1 In recent sociology, conceptions of kinship have become disjoined from the marriage assumption, so that, for example, Carol Stack’s now classic study of urban African-American kinship, All Our Kin, shows how kinship functions well through a network of women, some related through biological ties, and some not. The enduring effect of the history of slavery on African-American kinship relations has become the focus of new studies by Nathaniel Mackey and Fred Moten showing how the http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png differences: A Journal of Feminist Cultural Studies Duke University Press

Is Kinship Always Already Heterosexual?

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Publisher
Duke University Press
Copyright
Copyright 2002 by Brown University and differences: A Journal of Feminist Cultural Studies
ISSN
1040-7391
eISSN
1527-1986
DOI
10.1215/10407391-13-1-14
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

d i f f e r e n c e s institutes relationships of various kinds which negotiate the reproduction of life and the demands of death, then kinship practices will be those that emerge to address fundamental forms of human dependency, which may include birth, child-rearing, relations of emotional dependency and support, generational ties, illness, dying, and death (to name a few). Kinship is neither a fully autonomous sphere, proclaimed to be distinct from community and friendship—or the regulations of the state—through some definitional fiat, nor is it “over” or “dead” just because, as David Schneider has consequentially argued, it has lost the capacity to be formalized and tracked in the conventional ways that ethnologists in the past have attempted to do.1 In recent sociology, conceptions of kinship have become disjoined from the marriage assumption, so that, for example, Carol Stack’s now classic study of urban African-American kinship, All Our Kin, shows how kinship functions well through a network of women, some related through biological ties, and some not. The enduring effect of the history of slavery on African-American kinship relations has become the focus of new studies by Nathaniel Mackey and Fred Moten showing how the

Journal

differences: A Journal of Feminist Cultural StudiesDuke University Press

Published: Jan 1, 2002

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