Sean H. Wang

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




Don Mitchell


adoption, child welfare, demography, family, metronormativity, sexuality

Subject Categories

Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies | Geography | Sociology


This thesis argues that geographers must consider sexuality and family together as integral parts of social life. Although sexuality already entered the lexicon of geography in the 1980s, and a burgeoning field of the geography of sexuality exists today, too often it is still considered peripheral in geographic scholarship. Similarly, family either remains consigned either as merely a place for social reproduction by studies of political economy, or is relegated entirely as an object of inquiry for only feminist geographers. Drawing from sociology, feminist and queer studies, this thesis makes an important intervention by relating sexuality and family in the context of queer adoptive parents in central New York. By doing so, it is able to explain and critique the production of metronormativity in geographic scholarship, the historical injustices in the U.S. child welfare system, and the everyday political strategies enacted in paths to parenthood - all insights that would be impossible to glean without centering sexuality and family in existing theoretical frameworks.


Open Access



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