SOCIAL SCIENCES

We Are Family: The Modern Transformation of Parents and Children

PublicAffairs: Perseus. Oct. 2020. 320p. ISBN 9781541758643. $28. SOC SCI
COPY ISBN
Research driven and wide ranging in scope, this newest book by Golombok (Centre for Family Research, Univ. of Cambridge; Modern Families) details nontraditional family structures and explores why transforming our collective understanding of families matters for us all. In many ways, the book proposes something much like what historians argue related to the rise of the family in early modern England: that structures are social constructions, without meaning until we create that meaning. Golombok reworks domestic narratives to show the family as a structure with plasticity enough to encompass relationships divested from rigid or fixed categories of gender and sexuality and that “children can flourish in all kinds of new family forms.” Using firsthand interviews, the author shows the evolution of the modern family in the United States and the UK. From IVF and donor relationships to lesbian, gay, trans, and single-parent households, the narrative spotlights broad data sets and specific case studies. Especially insightful are interviews with sperm donors, some of whom have maintained contact with biological children and others who long to but are unable, for various reasons.
VERDICT An essential, thought-provoking work that will serve as the foundation for future studies.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.


RELATED 

ALREADY A SUBSCRIBER?

We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing

ALREADY A SUBSCRIBER?