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Unhitched: Love, Marriage, and Family Values from West Hollywood to Western China. Stacey (In the Name of the Family), a professor of social and cultural analysis at New York University, spent over a decade interviewing and observing families in California, South Africa, and China for this scrupulously researched and moving portrait of family diversity across three continents and cultures. The first section is devoted to gay men living, loving, and parenting in tony West Hollywood. Stacey uses the experiences of her 50 subjects to examine both sides of the gay-marriage debate. The theory that legalizing gay marriage will lead to the legalization of polygamy takes Stacey to South Africa, where both same-sex and plural marriages are legal. She examines the history and modern interpretation of polygamy and asks if the practice might not offer some potential benefits to women and their children. Finally, Stacey turns her keen analysis on the Mosuo people of southwest China, who have rejected marriage for multigenerational households in which children are raised by their mothers and maternal family. Throughout her travels and exhaustive research, Stacey pokes and prods, and eagerly calls into question everything we think we know about love, marriage, and the baby in the baby carriage.
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