Friends the family you choose (no matter what: An investigation of fictive kin relationships amoung young adults.
Current research on fictive kin primarily focuses on the assignment of the fictive kin relationship, and does not focus on how acceptance of an individual as fictive kin is communicatively constructed. This research offers a look into how young adults communicate acceptance in their fictive kin relationships. Four focus groups and seven semi-structured interviews were conducted with young adults regarding their interactions that co-constructed meaning in their fictive kin relationships and how acceptance as fictive kin was communicatively constructed. A grounded theory constant comparison method is used to analyze the focus groups and interviews. The data were used to develop themes and extend the current research on fictive kin. The findings of this study illustrates how individuals are accepted into fictive kin relationships as expressed in term of events that co-construct meaning such as activities with fictive kin, the themes of stories about and rituals with fictive kin, and messages of acceptance. Additionally, this study finds that fictive kin relationships among young adults are structured in two ways, with their family of origin or separate from the family of origin. Suggestions are made for future research focusing on longitudinal studies of fictive kin among single adults as well as the structure of fictive kin relationships.
Advisor:Dr. Christina G. Yoshimura; Dr. Jennifer R. Considine; Dr. Kathy J. Kuipers
School:The University of Montana
School Location:USA - Montana
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Date of Publication:09/19/2007