Concern and debate over changes to family life have increased in the last decade, as a result of evolving employment patterns, shifting gender relations and more openness about sexual orientation. Most politicians and researchers have viewed these changes as harmful, suggesting that the family as an institution should not alter. The ‘New’ Family? challenges these dominant views. Leading academics in the field consider current diverse practices in families, and reveal the lack of balance between policies based on how families should be and how they actually are, illustrating the need for a broader definition of family.

A Passion for ‘Sameness’?: Sexuality and Gender Accountability

A Passion for ‘Sameness’?: Sexuality and Gender Accountability

A passion for ‘sameness’?: Sexuality and gender accountability
Gillian A.Dunne

This chapter aims to further theoretical and empirical understandings of household divisions of labour by extending our field of vision to include the experiences of a hitherto neglected and invisible group – lesbian parents. It departs from convention by recognizing that lesbian experience has as much to contribute to debates about gender as it does to sexuality (see Dunne, 1997a, 1998b). I argue that the detailed and critical investigation of divisions of labour between partners of the same gender offers a particularly effective way of revealing those circumstances and practices which facilitate, and those which inhibit the negotiation of, more egalitarian arrangements in partnerships per se. Further, by moving ...

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