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Remaking «Family» Communicatively

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Leslie A. Baxter

Demographers have repeatedly confirmed that the nuclear family is on the decline. Yet when Americans are asked about their ideal family, the nuclear family emerges as the most valued kind of family. Members of families that do not match this cultural ideal face a discursive burden to legitimate their identity as a «family.»
This volume gathers together communication scholars who are working on the many kinds of alternative family forms, from, among others, grandfamilies, diasporic immigrant families, and military families to in (voluntarily) childless families and stepfamilies.
The organizing question for the volume focuses on resistance, reconstruction, and resilience: how is it that alternatives to the traditional family are constructed and sustained through communicative practices? Several chapters adopt a global perspective, thereby framing the issue of legitimation of «family» in a broader cultural context.
None of the family forms described in this volume meets the ideological «gold standard” of the nuclear family, and in this sense they all represent a remaking of the family in profound ways.
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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Remaking family communicatively / edited by Leslie A. Baxter. pages cm. — (Lifespan communication : children, families, and aging; vol. 1) Includes bibliographical references and index. 1. Communication in families. 2. Sexual minorities’ families. 3. Single-parent families. 4. Families. I. Baxter, Leslie A., editor of compilation. HQ734.R353 306.85—dc23 2014019172 ISBN 978-1-4331-2047-3 (hardcover) ISBN 978-1-4331-2046-6 (paperback) ISBN 978-1-4539-1399-4 (e-book) ISSN 2166-6466

Bibliographic information published by Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek. Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek lists this publication in the “Deutsche Nationalbibliografie”; detailed bibliographic data are available on the Internet at http://dnb.d-nb.de/.

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