The panel gathers scholars working on contemporary forms of LGBTQ familyhood and parenthood to present field research on this topic in order to rethink and reconsider classic theories, unsolved questions, and key issues within the contemporary perspective of anthropology of kinship.
New trends of research on “new forms” of families, specially on LGBTQ families, have definitely problematised the traditional way of thinking kinship as a “natural” fact. Heterosexual and non-heterosexual families share aspects of change that has recently affected family in its various configurations (such as the non-coincidence between sexuality and procreation, or the non-coincidence between biological and social parents). However, the so-called rainbow families are at the cutting edge of change, highlighting and visibilizing all disjunctions brought by this transformation process. They are contributing to question the genealogical dimension of filiation, symbolically centered on the heterosexuality-procreation continuum (Strathern 1992; Carsten 2000, 2004; Franklin and Mckinnon 2001; Edwards and Salazar 2009). LGBT families are, at the same time, bringing a more flexible idea of “chosen/elective kinship” (Weston, 1991).
This panel aims to bring together scholars working on LGBTQ kinship and families in different fields (reproductive strategies, strategies of doin/un-doing families, process of kinning that breaks the border between kin and kith), in different national contexts, with different kinship and reproductive cultures, different family law, and different heterosexist and homophobic regimes, and finnaly with different political and everyday life strategies from more and more visible and integrated LGBTQ behaviors. Starting from the ethnographic work or theoretical issues, we intend to explore the way in which same-sex families and LGBTQ parents are currently creating new textures of social cohesion and relatedness, many times unexpected, new process of kinning through which a newborn child is trasformed into kin and he/she is brought into a significant and permanent relationship within a wider group of people. Finally, we want to discuss and provide a significant contribution to the way general concepts within kinship and family studies are always negotiated and resignified.