Stigma or respect: Lesbian-parented families negotiating school settings
AuthorLindsay, J; Perlesz, A; Brown, R; McNair, R; de Vaus, D; Pitts, M
PublisherSAGE PUBLICATIONS LTD
University of Melbourne Author/sMcNair, Ruth
Document TypeJournal Article
CitationsLindsay, J., Perlesz, A., Brown, R., McNair, R., de Vaus, D. & Pitts, M. (2006). Stigma or respect: Lesbian-parented families negotiating school settings. SOCIOLOGY-THE JOURNAL OF THE BRITISH SOCIOLOGICAL ASSOCIATION, 40 (6), pp.1059-1077. https://doi.org/10.1177/0038038506069845.
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This article explores the interface between lesbian-parented families and mainstream society through the example of schools. Lesbian-parented families are an increasingly visible family form; they are diverse and complex and raise challenges for heteronormative social institutions. Based on qualitative family interviews with lesbian-parented families in Melbourne, we discuss the dialectic between schools and families. In many heteronormative school contexts family members were stigmatized and burdened by secrecy and fear about their family configuration. However, there were also a significant minority of family members who felt respected, supported and safe within the school environment.These parents and children were out and proud about their families, and schools had responded with acceptance in both the schoolyard and the curriculum. We discuss the contextual factors (including social location and family formation), impacting on and constraining the interface between the families and schools, and point to opportunities for change.
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