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The Law of KinshipAnthropology, Psychoanalysis, and the Family in France$
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Camille Robcis

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780801451294

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801451294.001.0001

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Alternative Kinships and Republican Structuralism

Alternative Kinships and Republican Structuralism

(p.213) Chapter 6 Alternative Kinships and Republican Structuralism
The Law of Kinship

Camille Robcis

Cornell University Press

This chapter examines why, starting in the 1980s, many scholars and politicians found it useful to return to the structuralist social contract of Lévi-Strauss and Lacan. Around this time, lawyers, activists, social scientists, and politicians began to employ a discourse of rights or droits de l'homme. They argued for their right to raise children outside of the context of the heterosexual nuclear family, their right to marry and to make different forms of private life publicly relevant, their right to choose a child's last name, or their right to choose a different gender. For those troubled by these claims, particularly for those on the left, the works of Lévi-Strauss and Lacan provided a counterargument to this discourse of rights which is in perfect accordance with the secular and intellectual values celebrated in French political life.

Keywords:   structuralist social contract, droits de l'homme, heterosexual nuclear family, French political life

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