Volume 6, Issue 1
  • ISSN 2211-3770
  • E-ISSN: 2211-3789
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The traditional family has always been the preserve of heterosexual couples based on and reinforced by a series of (hetero)normative behaviours. The context of same-gender adoption allows for a reworking of the construct of the modern family and the negotiation of parenting identities moving beyond the traditional system based on gender binarism ( Wagner 2014 ). However, despite legal equality in the areas of adoption and marriage, LGBT people continue to face moral judgement about whether they are suitable parents. Using the insights and methods of membership categorisation analysis ( Sacks 1992 , Stokoe 2003a , 2003b , 2012 ), this paper unpacks the ways in which the more conservative parts of the UK’s society construct same-gender parenting as a transgression of the established norms while relying on heteronormative assumptions about categories within the membership categorisation device ‘family’ ( Sacks 1992 ). The paper shows that the gendered meaning ‘locked into place’ ( Baker 2000 ) in those categories is a source of prejudice and a tool to maintain the established heteronormative order.


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