This ethnographically-based exploration draws on sociological, historical and demographic data to provide a comprehensive analysis of family, gender and kinship in Australia, which informs modern kinship and gender at large. Allon Uhlmann charts the cultural basis that underlies kinship practices and argues that the Australian family is characterized by deep cultural and social continuities rather than the common view that the family is undergoing substantial change. He further shows how the modern family both shapes, and is shaped by, broad social and economic processes. This analysis provides greater insight into this critical field of practice as well as showcasing a novel analytical approach to practice that is rooted in the sociology of practice and in the anthropology of cognition. The book also suggests changes to the way in which social scientists currently treat family and kinship.
Allon J. Uhlmann is Assistant Professor in Anthropology at the University of Missouri in St. Louis, USA.
'Allon Uhlmann's book is a hard-headed yet empathic analysis of how family, gender, and kinship are shaped culturally and socially, through his critique and modification of Bourdieu's theory of practice in an Australian habitus. A most welcome contribution - theoretically, methodologically - to intensive studies of social practice.' Don Handelman, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel 'Relying on his ethnographic material and on his analysis of the history and sociology of the Australian family, Uhlmann creatively engages Bourdieu's practice theory and sets his ethnographic data in a broader context of historical continuities and social change, including the very structure of Australian capitalism. In its interrogation of both empirical research and social theory, the book promises to become a landmark in the anthropology and sociology of the Australian family.' Ian Keen, Australian National University, Australia 'Allon Uhlmann has written a compelling and deeply relevant ethnographic work. Rich in detail and insightful analysis, this book is a high water mark in the study of family, gender and kinship. Uhlmann demonstrates the strength and quality of ethnographic vantages and shows how Bourdieu's theories of practice can inform social analysis. Complementing earlier work, this book positions Newcastle and the Hunter region as a fertile field in Australian anthropology.' Deane Fergie, University of Adelaide, Australia 'Uhlmann's study...a very welcome departure from what he has elsewhere convincingly characterized as the besetting sin of Australian family sociology, an over-emphasis on practical policy. His theoretically rigorous and richly detailed analysis of the structures and logic of Australian family and kinship within a Bourdieusian frame provides an innovative addition to the existing literature on Australia.' Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute