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Where the Aunts Are
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summary
While the aunt is one of the most iconic and beloved figures in popular culture, the societal role and importance of real-life contemporary aunts are difficult to pin down. In some settings, she is the sole supporter, caregiver, or surrogate mother and exceeds her familial function as an aunt. In others, she subtly—or not so subtly—transgresses the assumed narrative of feminine identity. Surveying characters from Aunt Bee and Auntie Em to Bernie Mac's Aunt Wanda and House of Payne's Aunt Ella and countless living, breathing aunts across the country, Where the Aunts Are re-visions the ideals of family, femininity, and kinship and, in the process, offers a hopeful and progressive recognition of the multiple possibilities of womanhood in modern culture.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. pp. 1-2
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  1. Title Page, Copyright, Dedication
  2. pp. 3-6
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. vii-8
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. ix-x
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  1. Introduction: What’s Up with Aunts?
  2. pp. 1-13
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  1. 1. (Not) Like a Mother: Black and White Maternal Aunts
  2. pp. 15-36
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  1. 2. “Othered” Aunting: Race, Class, and Institutionalized Misogyny
  2. pp. 37-57
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  1. 3. Like a (Bad) Mother: Neotraditional and Malevolent Aunts
  2. pp. 59-74
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  1. 4. Wisdom and Witchcraft: Magical Aunts and Nieces
  2. pp. 75-95
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  1. 5. Eccentric Aunts: Sanity, Sexuality, and Spectacle
  2. pp. 97-114
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  1. 6. Commodifying the Aunt
  2. pp. 115-131
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  1. Conclusion: The Impact of Aunts
  2. pp. 133-151
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  1. Appendix I: Aunt Websites
  2. pp. 153-158
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  1. Appendix II: Popular Sources
  2. pp. 159-163
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 165-208
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  1. References
  2. pp. 209-236
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 237-244
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