UNHITCHING THE HORSE FROM THE CARRIAGE: LOVE AND MARRIAGE AMONG THE MOSUO

Abstract

If there were an international endangered species status for vanishing family forms, I would nominate the Mosuo people of Southwest China without delay. The contemporary world stands to lose a great deal, I believe, if we allow the unique, ancient Mosuo family system to expire. We would lose a species of happy family life that Tolstoy never contemplated, one that offers creative solutions to inherent contradictions between individual eros and family security that seem particularly pertinent today. The resilient premodern Mosuo family system anticipated by millennia core principles of what sociologist Anthony Giddens termed the pure relationship of late modernity. Giddens theorized that late twentieth century economic and social conditions enabled the emergence of a utopian practice of intimacy that he termed "confluent love" and "plastic sexuality." Plastic sexuality signifies "decentred sexuality," in Giddens's lexicon, "severed from its age-old integration with reproduction, kinship and the generations." Equals can pursue intimacy purely "for its own sake," and intimate relationships endure only so long as they "deliver enough satisfactions for each individual to stay within it."
How to Cite
. UNHITCHING THE HORSE FROM THE CARRIAGE: LOVE AND MARRIAGE AMONG THE MOSUO. Journal of Law and Family Studies, [S.l.], v. 11, n. 2, dec. 2009. Available at: <http://epubs.utah.edu/index.php/jlfs/article/view/205>. Date accessed: 24 nov. 2017.
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Articles