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Family matters: Women who 'marry' women in Iceland

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Published copy (DOI)



Publication details

JournalJournal of Sociology
DateE-pub ahead of print - 27 Nov 2013
DatePublished (current) - 13 Jun 2016
Issue number2
Number of pages18
Pages (from-to)173-189
Early online date27/11/13
Original languageEnglish


This article is based on study among women who ‘married’ other women in Iceland. It reveals complexity and controversial issues of visibility and acceptance, and illustrates the differing reception that same-sex partnership recognition receives in public, within families and within the non-heterosexual community in general. While same-sex partnership recognition has the potential to shape public opinion in positive ways, marriage neither guarantees acceptance from family nor does it automatically lead to visibility. These findings are interesting in light of the growing body of literature on the fading importance of tradition, growing individualization and the decline of the nuclear family, as they act to complicate such claims, showing that it is precisely through traditional family rituals that acceptance of same-sex relationships is communicated in small close-knit communities.

    Research areas

  • acceptance/tolerance, families, narratives, same-sex partnership recognition, tradition


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