Individuals, Couples, and Social Networks
Chapter Seven. Conclusion
During the time I was writing this book, I had to keep going back to the introduction and revising the number of U.S. states that recognized same-sex marriage, the number of U.S. states that had passed legislation against same-sex marriage, the federal status of U.S. same-sex marriages, and the number of countries that have national recognition for same-sex marriage. It is likely that there will have been more changes to this information by the time you read this book. When I was in graduate school, a wise professor in my department, Dr. John Murphy, was fond of saying, “It’s hard to write about a moving target.” The legal status of same-sex marriage in the United States is one such “moving target,” but it is my hope that this book provides an understanding of the same-sex marriage experiences of U.S. GLBT people, same-sex couples, and their social networks. The research discussed in this book makes it clear that it can be challenging—and joyful—to enact and express relational commitment and manage relationships among social network members in the dynamically changing and new relational context created by same-sex marriage.
The research on same-sex marriage discussed in this book illustrates the utility of approaching the understanding of same-sex marriage from a Communication Studies perspective. Our interactions with one another not only shape our relationships and build our social worlds, but also help to define our identities and sense of self (see Tracy, 2002). Thus, our preceptions of others and ourselves...
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