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The Accidental Teacher
Life Lessons from My Silent Son
Annie Lubliner Lehmann
University of Michigan Press, 2009

"Jonah Lehmann is an accidental teacher of others, including his family and friends. This personal and touching account of Jonah's life is enlightening, especially to those coming to terms with similar challenges with autism and other cognitive disabilities. It was written with love to support research on autism, and I recommend it to anyone and everyone touched by those of us who are different."
---Patricia E. Kefalas Dudek, Legal Advocate for People with Disabilities

"I have never read a book about a disabled person that caught me from page one. I could not put this one down. Lehmann offers a profound perspective on living with the reality of a severely disabled child. This book will be required reading for students who take my class in Special Education Administration."
---Frances LaPlante-Sosnowsky, Associate Professor of Education at Wayne State University

"A story of the astonishing power of human love and family triumph over hardship. Lehmann's story, engaging and at times both heartbreaking and joyful, offers an intimate view of one mother's journey as she works with professionals and a blur of caregivers to assist the ever-changing needs of her son. I highly recommend it to seasoned professionals in the field of autism and students preparing for careers in special education."
---Janet E. Graetz, Assistant Professor of Human Development and Child Studies at Oakland University

A child teaches without intending to . . .
Having severe autism does not stop Annie Lehmann's son Jonah from teaching her some of life's most valuable lessons. The Accidental Teacher, a heartfelt memoir about self-discovery rather than illness, uses insight and humor to weave a tale rich with kitchen-table wisdom. It explains the realities of life with a largely nonverbal son and explores the frustrations and triumphs of the Lehmann family as Jonah grew into a young adult. This book is a must-read for anyone who has been personally touched by a major life challenge.

Annie Lubliner Lehmann, a freelance writer for more than twenty-five years, has published articles in many newspapers and magazines, including the New York Times and Detroit Free Press. She resides in Michigan with her husband and two of her three children. Her eldest son, who inspired this memoir, is now a young adult with autism who lives in a supervised home.

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Adolescent Relations with Mothers, Fathers and Friends
James Youniss and Jacqueline Smollar
University of Chicago Press, 1987
After interviews with teenagers, Youniss and Smollar find that, though adolescents seek independence from the parent-child bond, they do not abandon the relationship.

"A must for anyone interested in adolescent behavior."—Edward Z. Dager, Contemporary Sociology
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Adolescents after Divorce
Christy M. Buchanan, Eleanor E. Maccoby, and Sanford M. Dornbusch
Harvard University Press, 1996

When their parents divorce, some children falter and others thrive. This book asks why. Is it the custody arrangement? A parent's new partner? Conflicts or consistency between the two households? Adolescents after Divorce follows children from 1,100 divorcing families to discover what makes the difference. Focusing on a period beginning four years after the divorce, the authors have the articulate, often insightful help of their subjects in exploring the altered conditions of their lives.

These teenagers come from a wide range of backgrounds. Some are functioning well. Some are faring poorly. The authors examine the full variety of situations in which these children find themselves once the initial disruption has passed--whether parents remarry or repartner, how parents relate to each other and to their children, and how life in two homes is integrated. Certain findings emerge--for instance, we see that remarried new partners were better accepted than cohabiting new partners. And when parents' relations are amicable, adolescents in dual custody are less likely than other adolescents to experience loyalty conflicts. The authors also consider the effects of visitation arrangements, the demands made and the goals set within each home, and the emotional closeness of the residential parent to the child.

A gold mine of information on a topic that touches so many Americans, this study will be crucial for researchers, counselors, lawyers, judges, and parents.

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Adoption across Race and Nation
US Histories and Legacies
Edited by Silke Hackenesch
The Ohio State University Press, 2022
Legacies of (un)belonging have historical roots and resonate across quite different contexts of transracial and transnational adoption. In Adoption across Race and Nation activists, adoptees, and scholars across a range of fields—history, childhood studies, cultural anthropology, gender studies, social policy, and more—ask: What are the experiences of dual-heritage adoptees, and how have configurations of kinship, culture, and identity shaped their lives? How have transnationally and transracially adopted children approached their Americanness, their American whiteness, their American Blackness, their Asian Americanness? How do “border crises” turn “adoptable children” into revenue streams for countries, exposing the vulnerability of immigrant families of color? Offering case studies of post–World War II and Cold War adoptions of Black German and Black Korean children, Adoption across Race and Nation probes the intersections of race and nation as well as immigration and citizenship. It thus demonstrates that in the past as well as today, adoption, nation, and race continue to operate as relational categories with immediate effects on normative notions of family and kinship, belonging, the role of the state, and social welfare.

Contributors: Silke Hackenesch, Laura Briggs, Pamela Anne Quiroz, Eleana J. Kim, Kim Park Nelson, Amy E. Traver, Kori A. Graves, Tracey Owens Patton, Rosemarie H. Peña, Peter Selman
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Adoption and Multiculturalism
Europe, the Americas, and the Pacific
Jenny Heijun Wills, Tobias Hübinette, and Indigo Willing, Editors
University of Michigan Press, 2020
Adoption and Multiculturalism features the voices of international scholars reflecting transnational and transracial adoption and its relationship to notions of multiculturalism. The essays trouble common understandings about who is being adopted, who is adopting, and where these acts are taking place, challenging in fascinating ways the tidy master narrative of saviorhood and the concept of a monolithic Western receiving nation. Too often the presumption is that the adoptive and receiving country is one that celebrates racial and ethnic diversity, thus making it superior to the conservative and insular places from which adoptees arrive. The volume’s contributors subvert the often simplistic ways that multiculturalism is linked to transnational and transracial adoption and reveal how troubling multiculturalism in fact can be.

The contributors represent a wide range of disciplines, cultures, and connections in relation to the adoption constellation, bringing perspectives from Europe (including Scandinavia), Canada, the United States, and Australia. The book brings together the various methodologies of literary criticism, history, anthropology, sociology, and cultural theory to demonstrate the multifarious and robust ways that adoption and multiculturalism might be studied and considered. Edited by three transnational and transracial adoptees, Adoption and Multiculturalism: Europe, the Americas, and the Pacific offers bold new scholarship that revises popular notions of transracial and transnational adoption as practice and phenomenon.
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Adoption Fantasies
The Fetishization of Asian Adoptees from Girlhood to Womanhood
Kimberly D. McKee
The Ohio State University Press, 2023
In Adoption Fantasies, Kimberly D. McKee explores the ways adopted Asian women and girls are situated at a nexus of objectifications—as adoptees and as Asian American women—and how they negotiate competing expectations based on sensationalist and fictional portrayals of adoption found in US popular culture. McKee traces the life cycle of the adopted Asian woman, from the rendering of infant adoptee bodies in the white US imaginary, to Asian American fantasies of adoption, to encounters with the hypersexualization of Asian and Asian American women and girls in US popular culture. Drawing on adoption studies, Asian American studies, critical ethnic studies, gender studies, and cultural studies, McKee analyzes the mechanisms informing adoptees’ interactions with consumers of this media—adoptive parents and families and strangers alike—and how those exchanges and that media influence adoptees’ negotiations with the world. From Modern Family to Sex and the City to the notoriety surrounding Soon-Yi Previn and Woody Allen, among many other instances, McKee scrutinizes the fetishization and commodification of women and girls adopted from Asia to understand their racialized experiences.
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Adoption in America
Historical Perspectives
E. Wayne Carp, Editor
University of Michigan Press, 2004
"Includes research on adoption documents rarely open to historians . . . an important addition to the literature on adoption."
---Choice

"Sheds new light on the roots of this complex and fascinating institution."
---Library Journal

"Well-written and accessible . . . showcases the wide-ranging scholarship underway on the history of adoption."
---Adoptive Families

"[T]his volume is a significant contribution to the literature and can serve as a catalyst for further research."
---Social Service Review

Adoption affects an estimated 60 percent of Americans, but despite its pervasiveness, this social institution has been little examined and poorly understood. Adoption in America gathers essays on the history of adoptions and orphanages in the United States. Offering provocative interpretations of a variety of issues, including antebellum adoption and orphanages; changing conceptions of adoption in late-nineteenth-century novels; Progressive Era reform and adoptive mothers; the politics of "matching" adoptive parents with children; the radical effect of World War II on adoption practices; religion and the reform of adoption; and the construction of birth mother and adoptee identities, the essays in Adoption in America will be debated for many years to come.
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Adoption Memoirs
Inside Stories
Marianne Novy
Temple University Press, 2024
Adoption Memoirs tells inside stories of adoption that popular media miss. Marianne Novy shows how adoption memoirs and films recount not only happy moments, but also the lasting pain of relinquishing a child, the racism and trauma that adoptees such as Jackie Kay and Jane Jeong Trenka experienced, and the unexpected complexities of child-rearing adoptive parents Emily Prager and Jesse Green encountered.

Novy considers 45 memoirs, mostly from the twenty-first century, by birthmothers, adoptees, and adoptive parents, about same-race and transracial adoption. These adoptees, she recounts, wanted to learn about their ancestry and appreciated adoptive parents who helped. Birthmother Amy Seek shows why open adoption is not simple, and many other memoirs tell stories that continue past reunion.

Adoption Memoirs will enlighten readers who lack experience with adoption and help those looking for a shared experience to also understand adoption from a different standpoint.
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Adoption, Memory, and Cold War Greece
Kid pro quo?
Gonda Van Steen
University of Michigan Press, 2019

This book presents a committed quest to unravel and document the postwar adoption networks that placed more than 3,000 Greek children in the United States, in a movement accelerated by the aftermath of the Greek Civil War and by the new conditions of the global Cold War. Greek-to-American adoptions and, regrettably, also their transactions and transgressions, provided the blueprint for the first large-scale international adoptions, well before these became a mass phenomenon typically associated with Asian children. The story of these Greek postwar and Cold War adoptions, whose procedures ranged from legal to highly irregular, has never been told or analyzed before. Adoption, Memory, and Cold War Greece answers the important questions: How did these adoptions from Greece happen? Was there any money involved? Humanitarian rescue or kid pro quo? Or both? With sympathy and perseverance, Gonda Van Steen has filled a decades-long gap in our understanding, and provided essential information to the hundreds of adoptees and their descendants whose lives are still affected today.
 

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After Effects
A Memoir of Complicated Grief
Andrea Gilats
University of Minnesota Press, 2021

An intensely moving and revelatory memoir of enduring and emerging from exceptional grief

To grieve after a profound loss is perfectly natural and healthy. To be debilitated by grief for more than a decade, as Andrea Gilats was, is something else. In her candid, deeply moving, and ultimately helpful memoir of breaking free of death’s relentless grip on her life, Gilats tells her story of living with prolonged, or “complicated,” grief and offers insight, hope, and guidance to others who suffer as she did. 

Thomas Dayton, Andrea Gilats’s husband of twenty years, died at 52 after a five-month battle with cancer. In After Effects Gilats describes the desolation that followed and the slow and torturous twenty-year journey that brought her back to life. In the two years immediately following his death, Gilats wrote Tom daily letters, desperately trying to maintain the twenty-year conversation of their marriage. Excerpts from these letters reveal the depth of her despair but also the glimmer of an awakening as they also trace a different, more typical course of the grief experienced by one of Gilats's colleagues, also widowed. Gilats’s struggle to rescue herself takes her through the temptation of suicide, the threat of deadly illness, the overwhelming challenges of work, and the rigor of learning and eventually teaching yoga, to a moment of reckoning and, finally, reconciliation to a life without her beloved partner. Her story is informed by the lessons she learned about complicated grief as a disorder that, while intensely personal, can be defined, grappled with, and overcome.

Though complicated grief affects as many as one in seven of those stricken by the loss of a close loved one, it is little known outside professional circles. After Effects points toward a path of recuperation and provides solace along the way—a service and a comfort that is all the more timely and necessary in our pandemic-ravaged world of loss and isolation.

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After the Bloodbath
Is Healing Possible in the Wake of Rampage Shootings?
James D. Diamond
Michigan State University Press, 2019
As violence in the United States seems to become increasingly more commonplace, the question of how communities reset after unprecedented violence also grows in significance. After the Bloodbath examines this quandary, producing insights linking rampage shootings and communal responses in the United States. Diamond, who was a leading attorney in the community where the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy occurred, focuses on three well-known shootings and a fourth shooting that occurred on the Red Lake Indian Reservation in Minnesota. The book looks to the roots of Indigenous approaches to crime, identifying an institutional weakness in the Anglo judicial model, and explores adapting Indigenous practices that contribute to healing following heinous criminal behavior. Emerging from the history of Indigenous dispute resolution is a spotlight turned on to restorative justice, a subject no author has discussed to date in the context of mass shootings. Diamond ultimately leads the reader to a positive road forward focusing on insightful steps people can take after a rampage shooting to help their wounded communities heal.
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Agency
The Four Point Plan (F.R.E.E.) for ALL Children to Overcome the Victimhood Narrative and Discover Their Pathway to Power
Rowe, Ian V.
Templeton Press, 2021

Every child in America deserves to know that a path to a successful life exists and that they have the power to follow it. But many never set foot on that path because they grow up hearing the message that systemic forces control their destinies, or that they are at fault for everything that has gone wrong in their lives. 

These children often come from difficult circumstances. Many are raised by young, single parents, live in disadvantaged neighborhoods, attend substandard schools, and lack the moral safeguards of religious and civic institutions. As a result, they can be dispirited into cycles of learned helplessness rather than inspired to pursue their own possibilities.

Yet this phenomenon is not universal. Some children thrive where others do not. Why? Are there personal behaviors and institutional supports that have proven to make a difference in helping young people chart a course for their futures? Agency answers with a loud and clear “yes!” 
This book describes four pillars that can uplift every young person as they make the passage into adulthood: Family, Religion, Education, and Entrepreneurship. Together, these pillars embody the true meaning of freedom, wherein people are motivated to embrace the ennobling responsibilities of building healthy social structures and shaping the outcomes of their own lives. 

For that reason, Ian Rowe calls the four pillars the FREE framework. With this framework in place, children are empowered to develop agency, which Rowe defines as the force of one’s free will, guided by moral discernment. Developing agency is the alternative to the debilitating ‘blame-the-system’ and ‘blame-the-victim’ narratives. It transcends our political differences and beckons all who dare to envision lives unshackled by present realities. 

In addition to making the case for agency, Rowe shares his personal story of success coming from an immigrant family. He defends America as an ever-improving country worthy of our esteem. He corrects misguided calls for “anti-racism” and “equity,” and champions a game plan for creating new agents of agency, dedicated to promoting the aspirational spirit of America’s children, and showing them the path that will set them FREE. 
 

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Aging and Loss
Mourning and Maturity in Contemporary Japan
Danely, Jason
Rutgers University Press, 2015
By 2030, over 30% of the Japanese population will be 65 or older, foreshadowing the demographic changes occurring elsewhere in Asia and around the world.  What can we learn from a study of the aging population of Japan and how can these findings inform a path forward for the elderly, their families, and for policy makers?

Based on nearly a decade of research, Aging and Loss examines how the landscape of aging is felt, understood, and embodied by older adults themselves. In detailed portraits, anthropologist Jason Danely delves into the everyday lives of older Japanese adults as they construct narratives through acts of reminiscence, social engagement and ritual practice, and reveals the pervasive cultural aesthetic of loss and of being a burden.
 
Through first-hand accounts of rituals in homes, cemeteries, and religious centers, Danely argues that what he calls the self-in-suspense can lead to the emergence of creative participation in an economy of care. In everyday rituals for the spirits, older adults exercise agency and reinterpret concerns of social abandonment within a meaningful cultural narrative and, by reimagining themselves and their place in the family through these rituals, older adults in Japan challenge popular attitudes about eldercare. Danely’s discussion of health and long-term care policy, and community welfare organizations, reveal a complex picture of Japan’s aging society. 
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Aging and Old Age
Richard A. Posner
University of Chicago Press, 1995
Are the elderly posing a threat to America's political system with their enormous clout? Are they stretching resources to the breaking point with their growing demands for care? Distinguished economist and legal scholar Richard A. Posner explodes the myth that the United States could be on the brink of gerontological disaster.

Aging and Old Age offers fresh insight into a wide range of social and political issues relating to the elderly, such as health care, crime, social security, and discrimination. From the dread of death to the inordinate law-abidingness of the old, from their loquacity to their penny-pinching, Posner paints a surprisingly rich, revealing, and unsentimental portrait of the millions of elderly people in the United States. He explores issues such as age discrimination in employment, creativity and leadership as functions of age, and the changing social status of the elderly. Why are old people, presumably with less to lose, more unwilling to take risks than young people? Why don't the elderly in the United States command the respect and affection they once did and still do in other countries? How does aging affect driving and criminal records? And how does aging relate to creativity across different careers?
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Aging in a Changing World
Older New Zealanders and Contemporary Multiculturalism
Molly George
Rutgers University Press, 2022
This is a story about aging in place in a world of global movement. Around the world, many older people have stayed still but have been profoundly impacted by the movement of others. Without migrating themselves, many older people now live in a far “different country” than the one of their memories. Recently, the Brexit vote and the 2016 election of Trump have re-enforced prevalent stereotypes of “the racist older person”. This book challenges simplified images of the old as racist, nostalgic and resistant to change by taking a deeper, more nuanced look at older people’s complex relationship with the diversity and multiculturalism that has grown and developed around them. Aging in a Changing World takes a look at how some older people in New Zealand have been responding to and interacting with the new multiculturalism they now encounter in their daily lives. Through their unhurried, micro, daily interactions with immigrants, they quietly emerge as agents of the very social change they are assumed to oppose.
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Alandra's Lilacs
The Story of a Mother and Her Deaf Daughter
Tressa Bowers
Gallaudet University Press, 1999

When, in 1968, 19-year-old Tressa Bowers took her baby daughter to an expert on deaf children, he pronounced that Alandra was “stone deaf,” she most likely would never be able to talk, and she probably would not get much of an education because of her communication limitations. Tressa refused to accept this stark assessment of Alandra’s prospects. Instead, she began the arduous process of starting her daughter’s education.

Economic need forced Tressa to move several times, and as a result, she and Alandra experienced a variety of learning environments: a pure oralist approach, which discouraged signing; Total Communication, in which the teachers spoke and signed simultaneously; a residential school for deaf children, where Signed English was employed; and a mainstream public school that relied upon interpreters. Changes at home added more demands, from Tressa’s divorce to her remarriage, her long work hours, and the ongoing challenge of complete communication within their family. Through it all, Tressa and Alandra never lost sight of their love for each other, and their affection rippled through the entire family. Today, Tressa can triumphantly point to her confident, educated daughter and also speak with pride of her wonderful relationship with her deaf grandchildren. Alandra’s Lilacs is a marvelous story about the resiliency and achievements of determined, loving people no matter what their circumstances might be.

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American Eldercide
How It Happened, How to Prevent It
Margaret Morganroth Gullette
University of Chicago Press, 2024
A bracing spotlight on the avoidable causes of the COVID-19 Eldercide in the United States.
 
Twenty percent of the Americans who have died of COVID since 2020 have been older and disabled adults residing in nursing homes—even though they make up fewer than one percent of the US population. Something about this catastrophic loss of life in government-monitored facilities has never added up.
 
Until now. In American Eldercide, activist and scholar Margaret Morganroth Gullette investigates this tragic public health crisis with a passionate voice and razor-sharp attention to detail, showing us that nothing about it was inevitable. By unpacking the decisions that led to discrimination against nursing home residents, revealing how governments, doctors, and media reinforced ageist or ableist biases, and collecting the previously little-heard voices of the residents who survived, Gullette helps us understand the workings of what she persuasively calls an eldercide.
 
Gullette argues that it was our collective indifference, fueled by the heightened ageism of the COVID-19 era, that prematurely killed this vulnerable population. Compounding that deadly indifference is our own panic about aging and a social bias in favor of youth-based decisions about lifesaving care. The compassion this country failed to muster for the residents of our nursing facilities motivated Gullette to pen an act of remembrance, issuing a call for pro-aging changes in policy and culture that would improve long-term care for everyone.
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American Family
A Televised Life
Jeffrey Ruoff
University of Minnesota Press, 2001

The first in-depth look at this pioneering "reality TV" documentary.

Before 1973, the Loud family of Santa Barbara, California, lived in the privacy of their own home. With the airing of the documentary An American Family, that "privacy" extended to every American home with a television-and there was no going back to the happy land of Beaver, Donna Reed, and Father Knows Best. This book is the first to offer a close, sustained look at An American Family-the documentary that blurred conventions, stirred passions among viewers and reviewers, revised impressions of family life and definitions of private and public, and began the breakdown of distinctions between reality and spectacle that culminated in cultural phenomena from The Oprah Winfrey Show to Survivor.

While placing Craig Gilbert’s innovative series in the context of 1970s nonfiction film and television, Jeffrey Ruoff tells the story behind An American Family from conception to broadcast, from reception to long-term impact. He reintroduces us to the Louds as intimate details of their daily lives, from one child’s dance recital to another’s gay lifestyle to the parents’ divorce proceedings, unfold first before the camera and then before American viewers, challenging audiences to think seriously about family, marital relations, sexuality, affluence, and the American dream. In the documentary’s immediate impact-on both producers and viewers of media-Ruoff uncovers the roots of new nonfiction forms including confessional talk shows like Oprah, first-person documentary films like Ross McElwee’s acclaimed Sherman’s March, and reality TV programs such as The Real World, Survivor, and Big Brother. A comprehensive production and reception study, Ruoff’s work restores An American Family to its rightful, pioneering place in the history of American television.Visible Evidence Series, volume 11
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Amy Signs
A Mother, Her Deaf Daughter, and Their Stories
Rebecca Willman Gernon
Gallaudet University Press, 2012

“Thirty-seven years ago, I vowed to write a truthful book about raising a deaf child.” Rebecca Willman Gernon followed through on her promise with her deaf daughter Amy Willman in this extraordinary new narrative. Many stories have been told about a parent’s struggle to help her deaf child succeed in a mostly hearing world. Amy Signs marks a signature departure in that both Rebecca and Amy relate their perspectives on their journey together.

       When she learns of 11-month-old Amy’s deafness in 1969, Rebecca fully expresses her anguish, and traces all of the difficulties she endured in trying to find the right educational environment for Amy. The sacrifices of the rest of her family weighed heavily on her, also. Though she resolved to place four-year-old Amy in Nebraska’s residential school for deaf students, the emotional toll seemed too much to bear.

       Amy’s view acts as the perfect counterpoint. Interwoven with her mother’s story, Amy’s account confirms that signing served her best. She summarizes life in boarding school as “laughter and homesickness.” She laughed with all of her deaf friends, though felt homesick at times. Amy thanks her mother for the gift of sign, asserting that a mainstream education would never have led her to earn a master’s degree and later teach American Sign Language at the University of Nebraska. Amy Signs is a positive albeit cautionary tale for parents of deaf children today whose only choice is a mainstreamed education.

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Appropriately Subversive
Modern Mothers in Traditional Religions
Tova Hartman Halbertal
Harvard University Press, 2003

How do mothers reconcile conflicting loyalties--to their religious traditions, and to the daughters whose freedoms are also constrained by those traditions? Searching for answers, Tova Hartman Halbertal interviewed mothers of teenage daughters in religious communities: Catholics in the United States, Orthodox Jews in Israel.

Sounding surprisingly alike, both groups described conscious struggles between their loyalties and talked about their attempts to make sense of and pass on their multiple commitments. They described accommodations and rationalizations and efforts to make small changes where they felt that their faith unjustly subordinated women. But often they did not feel they could tell their daughters how troubled they were. To keep their daughters safe within the protective culture of their ancestors, the mothers had to hide much of themselves in the hope that their daughters would know them more completely in the future.

Moving and unique, this book illuminates one of the moral questions of our time--how best to protect children and preserve community, without being imprisoned by tradition.

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Arranged Marriage
The Politics of Tradition, Resistance, and Change
Péter Berta
Rutgers University Press, 2023
Arranged Marriage: The Politics of Tradition, Resistance, and Change shows how arranged marriage practices have been undergoing transformation as a result of global and other processes such as the revolution of digital technology, democratization of transnational mobility, or shifting significance of patriarchal power structures. The ethnographically informed chapters not only highlight how the gendered and intergenerational politics of agency, autonomy, choice, consent, and intimacy work in the contexts of partner choice and management of marriage, but also point out that arranged marriages are increasingly varied and they can be reshaped, reinvented, and reinterpreted flexibly in response to individual, family, religious, class, ethnic, and other desires, needs, and constraints. The authors convincingly demonstrate that a nuanced investigation of the reasons, complex dynamics, and consequences of arranged marriages offers a refreshing analytical lens that can significantly contribute to a deeper understanding of other phenomena such as globalization, modernization, and international migration as well as patriarchal value regimes, intergenerational power imbalances, and gendered subordination and vulnerability of women. 
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Attachments
Essays on Fatherhood and Other Performances
Lucas Mann
University of Iowa Press, 2024
Lucas Mann turns his attention, tenderness, self-reflection, and humor to contemporary fatherhood. He looks closely at all the joys, frustrations, subtleties, and contradictions within an experience that often goes under-discussed. At once intimate and expansive, Mann chronicles his own life with his young daughter, but also looks outward to the cultural and political baggage that surrounds and permeates these everyday experiences. Moving through memoir, lyric essay, literary analysis, and pop culture criticism, Attachments treats the subject of fatherhood with the depth, curiosity, and vivid emotion that it deserves.
 
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Autism and Gender
From Refrigerator Mothers to Computer Geeks
Jordynn Jack
University of Illinois Press, 2014
The reasons behind the increase in autism diagnoses have become hotly contested in the media as well as within the medical, scholarly, and autistic communities. Jordynn Jack suggests the proliferating number of discussions point to autism as a rhetorical phenomenon that engenders attempts to persuade through arguments, appeals to emotions, and representational strategies.
 
In Autism and Gender: From Refrigerator Mothers to Computer Geeks, Jack focuses on the ways gender influences popular discussion and understanding of autism's causes and effects. She identifies gendered theories like the “refrigerator mother” theory, for example, which blames emotionally distant mothers for autism, and the “extreme male brain” theory, which links autism to the modes of systematic thinking found in male computer geeks. Jack's analysis reveals how people employ such highly gendered theories to craft rhetorical narratives around stock characters--fix-it dads, heroic mother warriors rescuing children from autism--that advocate for ends beyond the story itself while also allowing the storyteller to gain authority, understand the disorder, and take part in debates.
 
Autism and Gender reveals the ways we build narratives around controversial topics while offering new insights into the ways rhetorical inquiry can and does contribute to conversations about gender and disability.
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Awesome Families
The Promise of Healing Relationships in the International Churches of Christ
Kathleen Jenkins
Rutgers University Press, 2005

Denounced by some as a dangerous cult and lauded by others as a miraculous faith community, the International Churches of Christ was a conservative evangelical Christian movement that grew rapidly in the 1980s and 1990s.

Among its followers, promises to heal family relationships were central to the group's appeal. Members credit the church for helping them develop so-called "awesome families"-successful marriages and satisfying relationships with children, family of origin, and new church "brothers and sisters." The church engaged an elaborate array of services, including round-the-clock counseling, childcare, and Christian dating networks-all of which were said to lead to fulfilling relationships and exciting sex lives. Before the unified movement's demise in 2003-2004, the lure of blissful family-life led more than 100,000 individuals worldwide to be baptized into the church.

In Awesome Families, Kathleen Jenkins draws on four years of ethnographic research to explain how and why so many individuals-primarily from middle- to upper-middle-class backgrounds-were attracted to this religious group that was founded on principles of enforced community, explicit authoritative relationships, and therapeutic ideals. Weaving classical and contemporary social theory, she argues that members were commonly attracted to the structure and practice of family relationships advocated by the church, especially in the context of contemporary society where gender roles and family responsibilities are often ambiguous.

Tracing the rise and fall of this fast-growing religious movement, this timely study adds to our understanding of modern society and offers insight to the difficulties that revivalist movements have in sustaining growth.
 

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