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"We're like the unusual factor": Analyzing how gay adoptive fathers negotiate discourses of social challenge and develop family identities
Lindemann, KurtSasidharan, Vinod
The increasing visibility of gay adoptive families in US society remains controversial and has elicited scholarly conversations across disciplines in recent years. However, although previous research has focused on how gay males disclose difficulties in their adoption process and make sense of their father-gay identities, little of how they communicate and navigate the ups and downs of parenthood in their families after the transition has been explored. Hence, utilizing intersectionality as a theoretical lens, this qualitative research further unpacks how gay adoptive fathers experience social challenges throughout their parenthood journey and how they develop family identities with their child(ren). After analyzing 20 in-depth interviews, five major themes were interpreted to address two research questions. The first three themes unpack how, in everyday interactions, gay fathers experienced and/or negotiate heteronormative ideologies, homophobic experiences, and inadequate social modelling that erect barriers to their parenthood. The last two themes consider how reconstructing normalcy and embracing difference delineate how gay fathers strategically communicate adoption, gender, sexual orientation, race/ethnicity and class to build better family relationships. Ultimately, this study has yielded a deeper understanding of how the “gay adoptive family” as a concept is socially constructed, and offers insights on parenting practices overall. Keywords: gay father, gender, intersectionality, adoption, identity, family communication
Professional Studies and Fine Arts
Master of Arts (M.A.) San Diego State University, 2018
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