What if the starting point of investigating queer lives and relationships is not the “family” but a more broadly defined set of close relationships that queers themselves find central and meaningful in their life? This is the premise of this thesis that investigates queer relationship and kinship practices in contemporary Estonia.
Drawing on qualitative material ranging from ethnographic engagements to interviews, close relationship maps and a qualitative online survey, the thesis provides a detailed investigation into the making and breaking of bonds, and into the opaque ways in which queerness is negotiated in this process. The study focuses on care practices that in many ways form the base of close relationships. It also explores the ways in which the social, economic and cultural circumstances of contemporary Estonia shape the construction of close relationships and practices of care.
Raili Uibo is a gender and sexuality scholar at Södertörn University. This study is her doctoral dissertation. The study was part of the international research project entitled “Queer(y)ing kinship in the Baltic region”, funded by the Baltic Sea Foundation.