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Family Flamboyant, The

Race Politics, Queer Families, Jewish Lives

Marla Brettschneider

Publication Year: 2006

Interrogates the normative heterosexual family from feminist, Jewish, and queer perspectives. The Family Flamboyant is a graceful and lucid account of the many routes to family formation. Weaving together personal experience and political analysis in an examination of how race, gender, sexuality, class, and other hierarchies function in family politics, Marla Brettschneider draws on her own experience in a Jewish, multiracial, adoptive, queer family in order to theorize about the layered realities that characterize families in the United States today. Brettschneider uses critical race politics, feminist insight, class-based analysis, and queer theory to offer a distinct and distinctly Jewish contribution to both the family debates and the larger project of justice politics.

Published by: State University of New York Press

Series: SUNY series in Feminist Criticism and Theory


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Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. ix-xii

We flutter out the door on our way to a party. The neighbors sneer, “Why must they be so flamboyant?” Our friends at the party think we’re fabulous. I come out as “Jewish” in a Women’s Studies class and assign one book by a Jewish author. A student writes on the end of semester evaluation: “This class was too Jewish.” Another writes: “Does she have to ...

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Introduction: K-I-S-S-I-N-G

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pp. 1-16

We used to sing that song as kids. We would change the names depending on who was currently sweet on whom, or depending on whom we chose to torment that day. Beth is my older sister. Stuart Flurb was her first boyfriend; they met in Hebrew School. My middle sister Nina has a special knack for anointing people with nicknames, somehow revealing that...

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Chapter One. Whitens Whites, Keeps Colors Bright: Jewish Families Queering the Race Project

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pp. 17-44

My daughter Paris is two-years-old. She stands in front of the hallway mirror gazing at herself, finding herself, questioning, exploring, discovering. My daughter Paris is two years old and she stands in front of the hallway mirror repeating a new phrase she has learned: “Jewish girl.” “Paris is a Jewish girl.” What does she see this time when she gazes and ...

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Chapter Two. Jew Dykes Adopting Children: A Guide to the Perplexed

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pp. 45-74

We’re Jews living in Maine. We are also dykes but we were living in New Hampshire. We had to move. Until recently, New Hampshire would not let people adopt children if there was a person thought to be gay living in their household. You could be as straight as an arrow, but if you had taken in your Great Aunt Tilly, a raging bisexual in the 1930s, someone ...

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Chapter Three. Going Natural: The Family Has No Clothes

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pp. 75-106

This chapter builds on the previous chapter’s critique of contemporary adoption practices and looks to ideas about “the family” writ large. The thesis here is that the so-called natural family is in fact a social construction. On one level most critical thinkers of course know this. It is not especially new to point out that the norm is anything but normative.1 The...

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Chapter Four. Questing for Heart in a Heartless World: Jewish Feminist Ruminations on Monogamy and Marriage

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pp. 107-138

Many are familiar with Marx’s famous line about religion being the opiate of the people. But that line, abstracted out of its context as it usually is, loses the deeper and more complex meaning of Marx’s comment. In the introduction to the “Contribution to the Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right,” Marx wrote: “Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, ...

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Epilogue. Justice and La Vida Jew . . . in Technicolor Queer

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pp. 139-146

The pounding of the jackhammer next door has continued on and off for years now. The solidity of New York bedrock and the tenacity of local organizers has drawn out the process of clearing away that sweet patch of wooded hill on the lot adjacent to our apartment. Today, I notice the workmen measuring, prepping a preliminary layout for a foundation. ...


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pp. 147-184


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pp. 184-214


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pp. 215-232

E-ISBN-13: 9780791481066
E-ISBN-10: 0791481069
Print-ISBN-13: 9780791468937
Print-ISBN-10: 0791468933

Page Count: 244
Publication Year: 2006

Series Title: SUNY series in Feminist Criticism and Theory
Series Editor Byline: Michelle A. Massé See more Books in this Series

OCLC Number: 868030498
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Family Flamboyant, The

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • Identity (Psychology).
  • Race awareness.
  • Group identity.
  • Jewish lesbians -- Family relationships.
  • Gay and lesbian studies.
  • Jewish families.
  • Monogamous relationships.
  • Jews -- Identity
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