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What's in a Name? Family, Identity and Social Obligation

Goodie, J. and Summerfield, T. (2002) What's in a Name? Family, Identity and Social Obligation. University of Western Sydney Law Review, 6 (1). pp. 209-221.

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What’s in a name? This is an article about how naming, in law as in other fields of the social sciences, makes possible ways of thinking and acting, underwriting social norms. Essentially, it is not an article about the philosophy of language but a paper about the connotations of law and how this links to the nature and performance of social obligation. We ask the question, does family law, as currently framed in Australia, reflect the nature of social obligation? In suggesting that it does not, we argue that family law firstly, limits possibilities for alternative family models which are developed on notions of social obligation as opposed to traditional notions of familial relationship and secondly, establishes a hierarchy of relationship legitimacy. We proceed to suggest ways in which law can best be framed to reflect the nature, as opposed to forms, of domestically based relationship.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Law
Publisher: School of Law, University of Western Sydney
Copyright: The Author
Publisher's Website:
Notes: Goodie, Jo; Summerfield, Tracey "What's in a Name? Family Identity and Social Obligation" [2002] UWSLawRw 9; (2002) 6(1) University of Western Sydney Law Review 210
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