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Authors: Tang Yee Min Grace
Keywords: Family, public space, same-sex partnerships, heteronormativity
Issue Date: 2018
Citation: Tang Yee Min Grace (2018). SITUATING THE FAMILY IN PUBLIC SPACE. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: The family has conventionally been regarded as a central fixture in the private space of the home. However, this division between public and private space has been empirically demonstrated to be less distinct. This paper explores how family has been represented in public spaces, and how these representations contribute to ideas about familyhood. In the context of Singapore, these particular ideas about family are dominated by a certain heteronormative imagination. By looking specifically at families which consist of same-sex couples, this paper investigates how these families navigate landscapes dominated by heteronormative ideas about familyhood. This thesis adopts Lefebvre’s spatial triad and considers how the intertwined components of the triad (representations of space, spaces of representation, and spatial practices) produce family spaces. Specifically, this paper explores how three kinds of family spaces are produced through the interplay of dominant discourse, lived experiences, and social practices. These spaces that will be explored are: (1) suppressive spaces, in which the families in question cannot present themselves as a family unit in the face of explicitly heteronormative representations of family, (2) affirmative spaces, in which the families find that their families are acknowledged and recognised in spaces which overtly support their families, and (3) in-between spaces, where the families may strategically employ certain practices to make their family visible in spaces which may not be explicitly be suppressive or affirmative spaces. Indoingso, this paper seeks to investigate how these families may reproduce or subvert particular heteronormative ideas about familyhood, and develop a more expansive and inclusive understanding of family.
Appears in Collections:Bachelor's Theses (Restricted)

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