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Primary mourners and next-of-kin: how grief practices reiterate and subvert heterosexual norms
Linköping University, Department of Social and Welfare Studies, Society, Diversity, Identity. Linköping University, Faculty of Educational Sciences. (Pedagogiskt arbete)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5296-6275
2011 (English)In: Journal of Gender Studies, ISSN 0958-9236, E-ISSN 1465-3869, Vol. 20, no 3, 251-262 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article discusses practices in connection with death and mourning. It argues that kinship is an ambiguous and contingent concept, and that rituals done in connection with death and mourning have consequences for how people are acknowledged as bereaved. The discussion is based on data from a Swedish study of bereavement. Besides evincing the salience in death practices of a notion of kinship based on conjugal relations and blood ties, the results of analysis of participant observations in a grief group and in-depth interviews with gay widowers reveal that the dominant kinship norm both constrain and enables differing positions as primary mourners. Drawing on Judith Butler and discourse theory, the study shows that claiming a position as bereaved can entail struggles concerning acknowledgement of kinship, and that examples of denunciation simultaneously stand out as resistance and subversion. To avoid marginalizing prospective mourners, it is important to be aware of how these practices of kinship and grief work together.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Routledge , 2011. Vol. 20, no 3, 251-262 p.
Keyword [en]
kinship, bereavement, grief, gay widowers, norms
National Category
Sociology Gender Studies
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-71038DOI: 10.1080/09589236.2011.593324ISI: 000299673800004OAI: diva2:444227
Föreställningar om sorg och sörjande – om hälsosam och sjuk sorg, rituellt sorgearbete och konstruktioner av normal och onormal sorg
Riksbankens Jubileumsfond, Dnr RJ2000-0032:3
Available from: 2011-09-29 Created: 2011-09-28 Last updated: 2015-04-01Bibliographically approved

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Reimers, Eva
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