Complex Families of Affinity: reimagining queer kinship beyond Anglo-American constructs

Activity: External talk or presentationInvited talk


The case study presented, part of my doctoral thesis, explores the intricate dynamics of queer kinship, particularly within a UK context, challenging the prevalent binary construct of chosen versus given families (Weston, 1991; Weeks, 2001, Gabb, 2008). Critically engaging with the limitations of Anglo-American conceptualizations (Mazielinska et al., 2017), I highlight the contributions of migrant and second-generation LBT individuals, whose practices complicate traditional models of queer kinship. It proposes a new conceptual framework termed "Complex Families of Affinity," which emphasizes multiple belongings and addresses vulnerabilities through affective structures and care dynamics.
By dissecting tensions, conflicts, and power dynamics inherent in queer kinship, the chapter underscores the complexities overlooked by idealized notions of kinship (Bradway and Freeman, 2022). It challenges the universality of Anglo-American models, advocating for a more nuanced understanding that considers geographical, migratory, and cultural contexts, emphasizing the role of affect and choice in defining kinship groups. It navigates the intricacies of belonging, revealing tensions shaped by social locations and exclusionary practices. Additionally, it interrogates notions of care, uncovering ambivalences and conflicting expectations rooted in idealised notions of kinship.
Ultimately, this presentation contributes to advancing the discourse on queer kinship, offering a richer understanding that transcends binary constructs and incorporates diverse experiences and perspectives. It lays the groundwork for further exploration of kinship dynamics in fragmented and dispersed LBT communities, illuminating the complexities of intimate citizenship and belonging in contemporary society.
Period9 Apr 2024
Event titleQueer Kinship: Affects, Families, Bonds
Event typeConference
LocationSiena, ItalyShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational


  • queer kinship
  • families
  • migrant
  • second-generation
  • non-normative relationality