Family Fantasies and Community Space by Stuart C. Aitken

By Stuart C. Aitken

Family types are altering swiftly in Western society, and with them, the microenvironments during which males, ladies, and kids stay jointly. Stuart Aitken argues that, even if atmosphere is taken as actual house or as a metaphor for the social, financial, and mental foundation of households, there continues to be a bent to maintain defining the which means of households and groups when it comes to older, conventional, "imagined," and idealized constructions of politics, gender, and geography.

Using the tales of a number of households in San Diego, Aitken describes geographies of lifestyle that contest definitions of towns and groups as mosaics reflecting styles of social relatives. He starts off contained in the kinfolk circle, taking a look at patriarchal strength and the subordination of ladies, males, and kids. relocating past the loved ones, he then stresses the significance of position in defining the social and political personality of groups and households' interaction inside them--whether "communities" are considered as neighborhoods, cities, or businesses that supply area for fellowship and customary objective. In flip, he exhibits that because the person baby reaches past kinfolk existence to discover a spot in those groups, political cultures are reproduced during the child.

Aitken indicates ways that person and kinfolk identities are complexly intertwined with the cultural politics of groups, towns, and areas. He concludes that kinfolk and group areas reproduce and reconstruct themselves day-by-day in keeping with divisions of race, category, gender, and differential entry to housing, paintings, and child-care.

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In chapter 7, I explore various contexts within which the myth of community is framed, beginning with a comparison of the work of last century's fin-de-siècle writers with the work of contemporary, postmodern, urban social theorists. The tension between fear for the safety of children and the supposed security of family-oriented communities is then explored. I speculate on the ways that some women with special needs purposefully create communities of mutual aid and suggest that fear and security may be inappropriate precursors of connectedness and support.

Box 5062, New Brunswick, New Jersey 08903. S. copyright law. Manufactured in the United States of America Page v To Peg, my partner in all of this Page vii Contents Acknowledgments ix Participant Anonymity xi Introduction Encountering Family Fantasies 1 Chapter 1 Re-placing the Family: A Space for Difference 15 Chapter 2 Family Fantasies: Mythic Histories and Geographies 31 Chapter 3 Gendered Parental Space: The Social Construction of Mothers and Fathers 52 Chapter 4 Negotiating Gender Roles and Relations around the Birth of a Child 72 Chapter 5 Play and Justice: Placing Children within the Patriarchal Bargain 93 Chapter 6 Setting the Nuclear Family Apart 107 Chapter 7 Imagined Communities 133 Chapter 8 Difference and Justice: The Place and Scale of Community 159 Conclusion Negotiating Complex Family and Community Spaces 191 Appendix A: Map of Study Area 199 Appendix B: Selected Summary Statistics for Study Respondents 201 Appendix C: Participants' Profiles 205 Page viii Notes 209 Bibliography 219 Index 233 Page ix Acknowledgments Research for this book was supported in part by Grant SES-9113062 from the National Science Foundation and a grant from the San Diego State University Foundation.

Aitken.  cm. Includes bibliographical references and index.  paper). 85'09794'985dc2197-17634 CIP British Cataloging-in-Publication information available Copyright © 1998 by Stuart C. Aitken All rights reserved No part of this book may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without written permission from the publisher. Please contact Rutgers University Press, Livingston Campus, Bldg. O. Box 5062, New Brunswick, New Jersey 08903.

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