Negotiating Belonging: Social Inclusion and Finnish Rainbow Parent
Huttu, Julietta (2016)
Master's Programme in Peace, Mediation and Conflict Research
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The thesis addresses questions concerning social inclusion and rainbow parenting in contemporary Finland. In particular, the thesis discusses how normativities in levels of culture and structure are maintained, and analyses the restrictions that continue to conceptualise hegemonic notions of family in Finnish society. Key conceptualisation of family as an institution of public interest in this thesis is founded upon the works of Janet Carsten, Kath Weston and Judith Butler. The data comprises of 4 ethnographic interviews with rainbow parents, complemented by discussions and observations with individuals who in everyday life counter questions concerning rainbow family and equality. Data obtained online consists of press releases and statements by activist organisations, media reports and Finnish legislation. Rainbow parents comprise of highly heterogeneous individuals, who negotiate their status as a homosexual or lesbian parent in individualistic ways. The thesis argues that by assigning civic rights according to predefined categories of belonging, such as marriage and gendered parenting, the society fails its claim of universal welfare. In its limited scope the thesis seeks to problematize different ways in which equality, social inclusion and family are conceptualised in the experiences of rainbow parents