Illustrating the fascinating intersections of online media and new kinship, this book presents a study of the increasing numbers of single women and lesbian couples reproducing by using donor sperm. It explores how they connect with each other online, develop intimate digital communities and, most importantly, locate their children’s hitherto unknown biological half-siblings, throughout the world. The author discusses how these new families - consisting of only mothers - engage in extended families involving large numbers of ‘donor siblings’. The new families challenge previous understandings of kinship, and provide illustrations of how norms of gender, sexuality and family are challenged, negotiated and maintained in contemporary times. A crucial study of contemporary formations of family, gender and race, Mediated Kinship discusses the racial aspects of the world’s largest sperm bank exporting Danish sperm (termed ‘Viking sperm’), and explores the narratives of whiteness and imagined racial superiority that circulate among mothers, as well as the racialisations accompanying commercial online sperm sales. By analysing contemporary families of donor-conceived children in the context of legislation, reproduction technologies and online media, the book will appeal to scholars across the social sciences with interests in race and ethnicity, whiteness, gender, sexuality, kinship and the sociology of the family.
Table of Contents
Previously published work
1. Introduction: Motherhood and the Web 2.0
2. Creating family
3. The Missing Father
4. Race and Reproduction
5. Community and New Scripts of Family
6. Conclusion: Expansion within Limits
Rikke Andreassen is Professor (MSO) of Communication in the Department of Communication and Arts at Roskilde University, Denmark. She is the author of Human Exhibitions: Race, Gender and Sexuality in Ethnic Displays and the co-editor of Affectivity and Race: Studies from Nordic Contexts and Mediated Intimacies: Connectivities, Relationalities and Proximities.
"This is a groundbreaking book and must read for all interested in critical queer and feminist kinship studies. Methodologically innovative and theoretically rigorous, it raises new questions about what counts as kinship and community as affective attachments to "biology" become increasingly mediated, animated and challenged through a range of technologies."
Ulrika Dahl, Uppsala University, Sweden.
"Mediated Kinship is a ground-breaking, richly researched, and sophisticatedly theorized book on queer motherhood, kinship and racialization, based on empirical research on the recent queer baby boom in Scandinavia and the role of social media in queer reproduction and family building. Rikke Andreassen cuts elegantly through the biology versus social proximity debates regarding priorities in queer family building, looking instead at the fascinating messiness of queer mothers’ online practices."
Nina Lykke, Linköping Unversity, Sweden.