Gender in intimate relationships: a socio-legal study

Bendall, Charlotte Louise (2017). Gender in intimate relationships: a socio-legal study. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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This thesis explores the extent to which the incorporation of same-sex relationships into formal regulatory domains is working to reinforce heteronormativity. It focuses on this issue in relation to the provision of legal advice on civil partnership dissolution. It concentrates on three main questions: 1) How can same-sex relationships, in light of civil partnerships (and, by extension, same-sex marriage), help to challenge social and legal constructions about the gendered nature of roles in intimate relationships? 2) To what extent do solicitors construct the issues and legal framework as being identical in same-sex matters to different-sex cases? 3) How do lesbians and gay men understand and experience the law of financial relief? It is argued that heteronormative conceptions of gender have been carried over from (different-sex) marriage into civil partnership proceedings, and that lesbians and gay men have, to a large extent, been assimilated into the mainstream. That said, civil partner clients have also resisted the imposition of heterosexual norms on their relationship, preferring to settle dissolution matters on their own terms, and opposing substantive financial remedies such as maintenance and pension sharing. In this way, civil partnership dissolution does still pose some novel challenges for family law.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
School or Department: Birmingham Law School
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
K Law > K Law (General)


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