Reconstructing home in the borderlands

Authored by: Patricia Zavella

Routledge Handbook of Chicana/o Studies

Print publication date:  August  2018
Online publication date:  August  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138847873
eBook ISBN: 9781315726366
Adobe ISBN:


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Families are exemplars of intersectionality, the theoretical framework that analyzes how power related to race, class, gender, ethnicity, sexuality and other social hierarchies are mutually constructed (Hill Collins 1998; Carbado et al. 2013; Cho, Crenshaw & McCall 2013; May 2015). In the United States, these intersecting systems of power shape how families are formed and experience family life as well as how they challenge the ability of families to maintain their core values, norms and customs. Unlike previous eras when families were formed out of economic exigencies under the direction of powerful kin, in the contemporary era, families are formed by couples, including those with queer sexual identities, based on notions of romantic love and courtship, and are shaped in the firestorm of political debates regarding marriage equality (Coontz 1992; 2000; 2005). 1 Prior to the 1950s before the influences of social movements related to civil rights, feminism, and gay rights, social forces began transforming families in the United States. Those social forces included redefinitions of marriage based on love, providing stability to children, and accessing contraception, education, and employment for women (Coontz 1992; 2005).

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