Tag Archives: sexuality

Annotated bibliography: marriage

  • Boxer, Diana and Gritsenko, Elena. “Women and surnames across cultures: reconstituting identity in marriage.” Women and Language. 28.2 (Fall 2005): p1. From Literature Resource Center. Accessed 23 Oct 2009. <http://go.galegroup.com/ps/i.do?action=interpret&id=GALE|A141493509&v=2.1&u=clar46892&it=r&p=LitRC&sw=w&authCount=1>.

To quote the abstract, “Through questionnaire and ethnographic data we study how women in the U.S. and Russia address the surname issue when faced with marriage or partnership.” Boxer and Gritsenko explore how surname choice affects and reflects personal and professional identity, as well as perpetuates “gendered power hierarchy of a society.” The latter part is what I think will be most useful for me, in my exploration of marriage’s affect on hegemony.

  • Boyd, Alamilla. “Sex and Tourism: The Economic Implications of the Gay Marriage Movement.” Radical History Review (Winter2008 2008): 222-235. Academic Search Premier, EBSCOhost (accessed September 27, 2009).

Boyd suggests that gay marriage becomes a commodity, a tourist attraction, something that cities “sell” to get more gay tourists to come spend their money in those cities. Ultimately, this functions to absorb gay culture into the dominant ideology, reducing homosexuality to another identity group to which certain things can be sold, rather than “sinful” or another such deviation from the norm. Whether this commodifying whose result is a kind of acceptance is good or bad is finally unclear.

  • Christensen, Jen. “Love! Valour! Commerce!.” Advocate (July 2008): 27-27. Academic Search Premier, EBSCOhost (accessed September 27, 2009).

Christensen reports on money statistics that suggest legalizing gay marriage increases net gain in a state’s budget by the influx of marriages and all the related spending—a shorter article to conclude much of what Boyd discussed regarding economics.

  • Church, C. C. “Communism in Marriage: Human Relationships at the Oneida Community.” Nation 123, no. 3188 (August 11, 1926): 124-126. Academic Search Premier, EBSCOhost (accessed September 27, 2009).

Astonishingly, Church describes a community formed in the early or mid-nineteenth century in New York that utilized a variety of Marxist principles; he argues that the main reason the community worked so well is because of the use of communism in marriage. Thus literally everything was shared in this small society (although the shared relationships appear to have been only heterosexual). Once their form of marriage was outlawed by the state, the community deteriorated, but it remains a testament to the possibilities of Marxist ideas.

  • Gray, Betty MacMorran. “Money and Marriage: The Usable Truth.” Nation 214, no. 26 (June 26, 1972): 820-821. Academic Search Premier, EBSCOhost (accessed September 27, 2009).

Gray argues, in 1972, that the main reason that marriages and families are deteriorating is because of the capitalist system and its exploitation of labor. It is an interesting argument to read considering the even higher statistics of divorce today and considering more recent attacks on gay marriage as being the reason behind so much divorce.

  • Handley, William R. “Belonging(s): Plural Marriage, Gay Marriage and the Subversion of ‘Good Order.’” Discourse (26:3) Fall 2004, 85-109,197. Literature Online (accessed September 27, 2009).

Except for Church’s discussion of the Oneida Community, this was by far the most fascinating read, because Handley describes much of the polygamists’ history and demonstrates how a good portion of the crap that was thrown their way is now being repeated for the proponents of gay marriage. He also crucially points out that while gay marriage and polygamy are often compared because they both threaten the idea of “traditional” marriage, at the base they are fundamentally extremely different ideas of human relationships; and while gay marriage can subvert one of the biggest ideological ideas in our society (patriarchy), polygamy actually took patriarchy to its extreme conclusion. It is interesting that neither end of the spectrum is generally welcomed in American hegemony.


  • Langbein, Laura, and Yost, Mark A. “Same-Sex Marriage and Negative Externalities.” Social Science Quarterly (Blackwell Publishing Limited) 90, no. 2 (June 2009): 292-308. Academic Search Premier, EBSCOhost (accessed September 27, 2009).

Using statistics already gathered that are used by the Family Research Council to denounce gay marriage as having adverse affects on society, Langbein and Yost analyze the data in an almost dully scientific way that effectively proves that gay marriage does not have adverse affects on society, and in some instances has actually improved it. They focus on those aspects of society that the FRC considers most important (marriage, divorce, abortion rates, proportion of children born to single women, and percent of children in female-headed households) so as to most clearly prove the FRC wrong in its statements. After reading so much literature that discusses gay marriage in ideological (or at most, economic) terms, it is odd to see it present in a scientific study, and I wonder if such a study is actually useful in arguments when so many of them are not based in scientific research.

  • McPheeters, Martha. “Gays to Marry? Let’s Not!.” Journal of Lesbian Studies 3, no. 1/2 (March 1999): 197-203. Academic Search Premier, EBSCOhost (accessed September 27, 2009).

As Mcpheeters writes in her initial summary, “Marriage has lost any connection it may have had to spiritual or emotional bonding.” She argues that gays shouldn’t bother trying to gain the right to marry as it currently stands, because marriage is a State-sanctioned economic contract that simply furthers capitalist and patriarchal society—things that should be contested instead. The idea of pair bonding for life (i.e. marriage) as being a natural thing is, to sum up, bullshit. Thus the gay rights movement should be fighting to change the ideas of marriage and how society functions, rather than trying to incorporate themselves into the current ideology.

  • Seidman, Steven. “The social construction of sexuality.Contemporary Societies. New York : Norton, 2003.

Seidman explores the history behind the views of sexuality in contemporary American society, relating the changes to similar changes in views on race (pertinent especially since many people relate antagonism toward gay marriage to earlier antagonisms toward mixed-race relationships). He also discusses the histories of the various gay rights movements, including those of specifically lesbian and bisexual organizations. Taking this text in relation to the Langbein and Yost text provides some variety (both scientific and ideological) in looking at the development of social attitudes toward the idea of gay relationships and, specifically, gay marriage.