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Constructing family: A typology of voluntary kin
.Journal of Social and Personal Relationships (2010)
  • Leslie M. Baxter, University of Iowa
  • Dawn O. Braithwaite
This study explored how participants discursively rendered voluntary kin relationships sensical and legitimate. Interpretive analyses of 110 interviews revealed four main types of voluntary kin: (i) substitute family, (ii) supplemental family, (iii) convenience family, and (iv) extended family. These types were rendered sensical and legitimated by drawing on the discourse of the traditional family. Except for the extended family, three of four voluntary kin family types were justified by an attributed deficit in the blood and legal family. Because voluntary kin relationships are not based on the traditional criteria of association by blood or law, members experience them as potentially challenging, requiring discursive work to render them sensical and legitimate to others.
  • communication and social construction
Publication Date
May, 2010
Publisher Statement
•On author website, repository and PubMed Central •On author's personal web site •Publisher copyright and source must be acknowledged •Publisher's version/PDF cannot be used •Post-print version with changes from referees comments can be used •"as published" final version with layout and copy-editing changes cannot be archived but can be used on secure institutional intranet •If funding agency rules apply, authors may use SAGE open to comply
Citation Information
Leslie M. Baxter and Dawn O. Braithwaite. "Constructing family: A typology of voluntary kin" .Journal of Social and Personal Relationships Vol. 27 Iss. 3 (2010)
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