'Beautiful but tough terrain': the uneasy geographies of same-sex parenting

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To date, many geographical analyses on and around family have relied on heteronormative social constructions and expectations of parenting within a nuclear family. There is, thus, considerable scope to investigate the geographies of those who are parenting outside heteronormative relationships; first to broaden this relatively limited understanding of contemporary geographies of family and, second, to recognise how some families must actively negotiate their 'fit' into material and symbolic space, primarily shaped for and by heterosexual parented families. Drawing on a research project that examined geographies of parenting from the perspective of 19 female same-sex parented families, this paper focuses on some of the ways these families negotiate their 'fit' (or otherwise) into spaces of parenting, and how such negotiations can be complex, even awkward. Focusing on Australian families and family geographies, this paper also shows how recent shifts in federal and state policy and legislation on families and parenting impact these 'uneasy' geographies of those parenting within same-sex relationships, adding complexity to already-challenging situations concerning the status and recognition of same-sex parented families.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)243-255
Number of pages13
JournalChildren's Geographies
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • parenting
  • policy and legislation
  • same-sex relationships
  • uneasy geographies


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