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Weaving a Family: Untangling Race and Adoption Hardcover – April 5 2005

3.6 out of 5 stars 5 ratings

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From Publishers Weekly

Rothman's caveat—that she'll "slide back and forth between memoir and sociology"—is disarming, even inviting. The author, a sociologist at the City University of New York, distinguishes between personal memoir, where "the driving force is the story: you want to tell your life," and the sociologist's autoethnography, where "your life is your data." Her work, she explains, is "closer to the latter, but not quite." But for readers, sticking with Rothman's stream-of-consciousness approach is trying as the white adoptive parent of a black child creates a sprawling mosaic of professional expertise and personal experience. The byways, to name a few, include home birthing, international adoption, genetics, slavery, consumerism in birthing and parenting, whiteness studies, biomedics and Jewish-black relations. The social scientist in Rothman develops a typology of black children raised by white parents—"Protégés, Pets, and Trophies"—and plunges into genomic detail. The memoirist in her surfaces to recall handling her daughter's hair ("I developed a bit of an eye, an aesthetic sense for black hair"). Comforted as readers may be by the author's general avoidance of jargon and impressed by her interdisciplinary breadth, this occasionally absorbing book too often seems an idiosyncratic grab bag. By the end, we know a little about a lot of sociological concepts and a little about the personal experience that was the book's catalyst. (May)
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What a fine and complex book this is! Barbara Katz Rothman takes us, with lucidity and (often brave) good humor, through the tangle of pains and satisfactions that come with her family's challenge to the racial status quo.--Rosellen Brown, author of Half a Heart and Before and After

"Is it right for white parents to adopt African-American children? How does a white parent expose her black daughter to two cultures? Protect the child from insensitive remarks? Sociologist Barbara Katz Rothman . . . doesn't just describe what it's like to be the white mother of a black girl. Rothman skillfully debates adoption ethics, the commodification of children, and the politics of inequality in America."--Anne E. Stein,
Chicago Tribune

Weaving a Family, the sociologist and white mother of an African American girl provides an accessible, sensitive portrayal of the inherent sociological complexities of mixed-race adoption and parenting."--Melissa Chianta, Mothering

"A bold and passionate autobiographical account . . . of a white mother raising her adopted black daughter. Rothman is a loving mother and also a fine sociologist. The blend of these gives us an honest and insightful book. A must read."--Arlie Hochschild, author of
The Commercialization of Intimate Life

"A revealing personal account which combines sound sociological knowledge and current data with a firsthand, intimate portrayal of multiracial family life. For families contemplating transracial adoption, or interracially adoptive families, this book should be read."--Professor Howard Altstein, University of Maryland School of Social Work

Weaving a Family makes a remarkably original contribution to the literature on race and adoption. Writing as a mother and a sociologist, Barbara Katz Rothman provides insightful, urgent lessons on mothering children in a racist world . . . Weaving a Family is ultimately hopeful about the possibility of building just and loving relationships across racial borders."--Dorothy Roberts, author of Shattered Bonds: The Color of Child Welfare

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Beacon Press; 1st edition (April 5 2005)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 272 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0807028282
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0807028285
  • Item weight ‏ : ‎ 499 g
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 14.61 x 3.18 x 22.23 cm
  • Customer Reviews:
    3.6 out of 5 stars 5 ratings

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3.6 out of 5 stars
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Top review from Canada

Reviewed in Canada on June 20, 2005
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1.0 out of 5 stars Not for prospective Adoptive parents (fathers?)
Reviewed in the United States on August 14, 2011
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3 people found this helpful
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great
Reviewed in the United States on October 21, 2013
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