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Fierce and often ugly battles are being waged, especially in the United States, over who is allowed to marry, what marriage signifies, and where marriage is headed. Kathleen Hull examines these debates, and data from interviews with over seventy people in same-sex relationships, to explore the cultural practices surrounding same-sex marriage and the legal battle for recognition. Arguing that the cultural and legal dimensions of marriage are closely intertwined, she shows how same-sex couples use marriage-related cultural practices, such as public commitment rituals, to assert the reality of their commitments despite lack of legal recognition. Though many same-sex couples see the law of the state to hold a unique cultural power to legitimate their relationships and identities, Hull finds that their opponents equally look to the law to re-establish a social normalcy that excludes same-sex relationships. This is a timely look at a contentious issue.Read more
- There is massive interest in this controversial topic which is rarely out of the media
- Based on interviews with over seventy same-sex couples, it examines how current debates affect them on an everyday level
- Presents various policy options for moving forward on this contentious issue
Reviews & endorsements
"Kathleen Hull's study of the commitment and spousal practices of same-sex couples in the United States is a welcome addition to the general field of socio-legal studies and, specifically, to the development of a comparative political sociology of lesbian and gay life... [T]his is a well written, well researched and provocative study of the culture, law and politics of same-sex marriage in the U.S. It will stand as a benchmark for future research in this area."
Miriam Smith, Canadian Journal of Sociology Online
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- Date Published: March 2006
- format: Hardback
- isbn: 9780521856546
- length: 296 pages
- dimensions: 234 x 158 x 22 mm
- weight: 0.6kg
- contains: 4 tables
- availability: Available
Table of Contents
List of tables
Same-sex marriage timeline
1. Marriage, culture and law
2. Doing the rite thing: cultural practices of commitment
3. How do I love thee? Questioning the marriage model
4. Making it legal: marriage, law and legality
5. Sin or civil right? Debating marriage in the states
6. Conclusion: marriage and beyond
Instructors have used or reviewed this title for the following courses
- Citizens and Deviants: Rights and the Constuction of Identity
- Gender Stratification
- Sociology of Law
- Women's and Gay Rights Social Movements
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