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Blood and Desire: The Secret of Heteronormativity in Adoption Narratives of Culture

  • Author(s) / Creator(s)
  • In this article, we use narratives of cultural identity among U.S. parents of children adopted from China to conceptually explore the ideas that underwrite socially intelligible kinship. Although these narratives address the cultural heritage of the child, we find that they also perform a kind of social labor. The ways adoptive parents respond to the “culture question” (their children's birth heritage) also speak to family identity in relation to a foundational imaginary of heteronormative kinship, namely, the equivalence of biological and social family origins. We assert that the “secret” of socially intelligible kinship is revealed in the shifting meanings of blood and social desire in ideas of kinship, which has important implications for new kinship studies as well as for adoption scholarship. [kinship, heteronormativity, adoption, culture, race, desire] Read More

  • Date created
    2009
  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Type of Item
    Article (Published)
  • DOI
    https://doi.org/10.7939/R32Z1333J
  • License
    All rights reserved
  • Language
  • Citation for previous publication
    • Dorow, S., and Swiffen, A. (2009). Blood and Desire: The Secret of Heteronormativity in Adoption Narratives of Culture. American Ethnologist, 36(3), 563-573.
  • Link to related item
    http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1548-1425.2009.01179.x