Queering Methodologies to Understand Queer Families

Jessica N. Fish, Stephen T. Russell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Scopus citations


Queering questions that which is normative. In this article, we discuss how, for the study of queer families, queering methodologies could reclaim traditional research methods that reflect historically dominant or privileged paradigms. We suggest that queer perspectives may be used to adapt mainstream (i.e., dominant, positivist, empirical) methods, creating possibilities for new, diverse understandings of queer families. We start with comments on the development and current standing of queer family research. We then reflect on several key conceptual and methodological tensions as they apply to queer family studies: lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer individuals ↔ queer families, between-group ↔ within-group, and quantitative ↔ qualitative. In conclusion, we discuss how these methodological considerations provide researchers opportunities to conduct research not only about but for queer families. Such research may reflect the diversity of queer families and challenge the normativities and systems of privilege that constrain them.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)12-25
Number of pages14
JournalFamily Relations
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2018


  • Families
  • LGBT
  • methodology
  • queer
  • research methods
  • sexual and gender minorities

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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