Doing family: The reproduction of heterosexuality in accounts of parenthood

Emily Kazyak, Nicholas K. Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The cultural and legal landscape in the United States has shifted towards increased recognition of LGBQ-parent families. This shift raises questions about the everyday experiences of LGBQ parents and whether the cultural and legal changes also manifest in diminished experiences of discrimination. Drawing on data from 74 interviews with LGBQ parents, we analyze their accounts of whether they are read as a parent by others in their daily interactions. Our findings reveal the ways in which heterosexuality is a key component of how membership to the category of ‘parent’ is produced in social interactions. Our findings also illustrate how assumptions about heterosexuality are both racialized and gendered. Our focus on accountability foregrounds power in everyday interactions and provides a lens through which to understand how inequality and disempowerment for LGBQ people can persist in American society despite cultural and legal changes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)646-663
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Sociology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2020


  • family
  • heteronormativity
  • intersectionality
  • sexuality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science

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