The panel invites scholars working on contemporary forms of familyhood and parenthood (LGBT families, adoptions, step-families) to reconsider classic theories, unsolved questions and key issues within the history of anthropology of kinship, namely the notions of "kinning" and "de-kinning".
The development of ARTs (Assisted Reproductive Technologies) as well as social and juridical changes within family structures renewed processes of production of children, of family reproduction, as well as kinship practices. Such phenomena bring fundamental concerns of anthropology of kinship, once again, at the centre of attention. Contemporary forms of familyhood and parenthood (increasing complexity parental figures and progenitor with the presence of biological parents, adoptive parents, donors, birthmothers, surrogate mothers, and social parents) brings us to question on classic theories, concepts and legacies of this field, reconsidering the very notion of kinning (Howell 2006), counter-balanced by that of de-kinning (Fonseca 2011). What is a "kin relation" based on?
This panel aims to bring together scholars working on different families configurations (LGBT families, adoptions, step-families) who are often taken separately. Doing so, we hope to discuss of methodological, theoretical and epistemological issues involved in their researches, as well of the unsolved questions and key issues within the history of this field. How do research findings enable to re-shape and sharpen general concepts (i.e. parent, mother, kin, and so on)? Ethnographical studies of new forms of parenting might show how - in various contexts and within different family configurations - kin connections are represented, constructed or deconstructed. What are individual and family strategies of "kinning" for lack of "biological" and "juridical" ties and "de-kinning" when they were at the origin of the material production of the baby, but are not implied in the process of parenting ?