July 15, 2008

My thesis is finished

Posted in feminism, gender, heteronormative, marriage, personal, queer at 7:38 pm by LB

Well, I finally finished.  Today I submitted my Master’s Thesis.  It is now in the hands of FedEx via the US Postal Service.  I have done several posts that in one way or another relate to my project, so I thought I’d share with you the title, abstract, and Table of Contents to get an idea of what I’ve been working on:

“Engendering Heteronormativity:

A Critical Analysis of Marriage in the United States as a Discursive Site of
Cross-Institutional Practices”

Abstract

This thesis is a critique of the United States’ adherence to marriage as the primary organizing feature of both social life and civic status, which in turn perpetuates gender inequality and heteronormative structures. This thesis demonstrates how ideal American citizenship requires participating in marriage, which further maintains the gendered public/private divide. The analysis concludes that since marriage is not one institution, but rather is comprised of cross-institutional practices, it persists in producing gender hierarchy in spite of the equalization of marriage laws and economic practices in the latter half of the twentieth century. Further, the cross-institutional nature of marriage means that legalizing same-sex marriage is unlikely to fundamentally change the discursive meaning of marriage and that same-sex marriage will be subject to the same normalizing and marginalizing effect of marriage practice.

Table of Contents


Chapter 1: What the Same-Sex Marriage Debate Tells Us About Normative Marriage…1

i.    Same-Sex Marriage Advocacy: “We” are Just Like “You…3
ii.    Marriage is Not a “Path to Liberation”…11
iii.    Queer Theory: Same-Sex Marriage as a Site of Regulation…17

Chapter 2: Citizenship, Marriage, and Gender in the United States…25

i.    American Political Philosophy, Citizenship, and Marriage…27
ii.    Citizenship and Marriage in Public Policy: The Cases of Native Americans and Polygamists…31
iii.    Slavery: Property Cannot Make Contracts…34
iv.    The Importance of Sexual Citizenship…37

Chapter 3: Shaping Normative Families Through Taxation and Social Welfare…45

i.    The Depression and the New Deal: Marriage Norms Through Economic Policy…46

ii.    1990s Social Welfare Reform: Temporary Assistance to Needy Families Program…52

Chapter 4: ‘Home Economics’ as a Means of Producing Gender…62

Conclusion: De-centering Heterosexuality and Normative Gender…82

4 Comments »

  1. swandiver said,

    I would actually love to read the whole thing. This sounds a lot like the agurments I make when questioned about my lack of enthusiasim over legal same-sex marriage in our state.

  2. swandiver said,

    Though I am not as fluent in academese. LOL

  3. sally said,

    Congratulations! This sounds great!

  4. earlgreyrooibos said,

    This sounds really cool, and I’d like to read it sometime. Really!

    Congrats on finally being done!


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