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Blood, Water and the Politics of Biology - Examining the primacy of biological kinship in family policy and (step)family discourse

Lenke, Karin (2006)
Department of Political Science
Abstract
In this study I examine the ways that social policy and (step)family discourse are constituted by the cultural and legal priority granted to biological kinship ties. I call the discourses that perpetuate the primacy of biological kinship the politics of biology. The purpose of the study is to examine the ways that the politics of biology are constituted, expressed and challenged in Swedish late modernity. The methodological framework is inspired by discourse theory where struggles over meaning are central to the analysis, which is two-fold. Firstly, the politics of biology are traced in social policy and family law. I argue that even though late modern family forms come in a multitude of different constellations, the heterosexual, nuclear,... (More)
In this study I examine the ways that social policy and (step)family discourse are constituted by the cultural and legal priority granted to biological kinship ties. I call the discourses that perpetuate the primacy of biological kinship the politics of biology. The purpose of the study is to examine the ways that the politics of biology are constituted, expressed and challenged in Swedish late modernity. The methodological framework is inspired by discourse theory where struggles over meaning are central to the analysis, which is two-fold. Firstly, the politics of biology are traced in social policy and family law. I argue that even though late modern family forms come in a multitude of different constellations, the heterosexual, nuclear, first marriage family stands as a model and biological ties between parents and children are privileged over social ties. Secondly, I use interviews conducted with four young adults brought up in stepfamilies, with one or more social parents. The purpose being to examine tensions over the meaning of family and parenthood. These young adults share the experience of negotiating the language of kinship relations, possibly challenging hegemonic meanings of words and symbols associated with the family. (Less)
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author
Lenke, Karin
supervisor
organization
year
type
H1 - Master's Degree (One Year)
subject
keywords
family, kinship, biology, social policy, stepfamilies, Political and administrative sciences, Statsvetenskap, förvaltningskunskap
language
English
id
1326042
date added to LUP
2006-05-23
date last changed
2007-11-12
@misc{1326042,
  abstract     = {In this study I examine the ways that social policy and (step)family discourse are constituted by the cultural and legal priority granted to biological kinship ties. I call the discourses that perpetuate the primacy of biological kinship the politics of biology. The purpose of the study is to examine the ways that the politics of biology are constituted, expressed and challenged in Swedish late modernity. The methodological framework is inspired by discourse theory where struggles over meaning are central to the analysis, which is two-fold. Firstly, the politics of biology are traced in social policy and family law. I argue that even though late modern family forms come in a multitude of different constellations, the heterosexual, nuclear, first marriage family stands as a model and biological ties between parents and children are privileged over social ties. Secondly, I use interviews conducted with four young adults brought up in stepfamilies, with one or more social parents. The purpose being to examine tensions over the meaning of family and parenthood. These young adults share the experience of negotiating the language of kinship relations, possibly challenging hegemonic meanings of words and symbols associated with the family.},
  author       = {Lenke, Karin},
  keyword      = {family,kinship,biology,social policy,stepfamilies,Political and administrative sciences,Statsvetenskap, förvaltningskunskap},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Blood, Water and the Politics of Biology - Examining the primacy of biological kinship in family policy and (step)family discourse},
  year         = {2006},
}