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Abolish the Family


A manifesto for care and liberation. By Sophie Lewis, Verso 2022

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A manifesto for care and liberation. By Sophie Lewis, Verso 2022

What if everyone was family?

We need to talk about the family. For those who are lucky, families can be places of love and care, but for many they are sites of pain: from abandonment and neglect, to abuse and violence. In this urgent, incisive pamphlet, leaving feminist critic Sophie Lewis introduces the idea of family abolition as a question of universalizing and generalizing the good things about our families.

In this short and exhilarating text, Sophie Lewis takes the reader through the various histories of family abolition, from utopian socialists to queer, Black and indigenous feminists and into the future, imagining what life might be like after the family. Radical and utopian as it undeniably is, family abolition is the real movement working to undo the care austerity that fundamentally structures life under racial capitalism.

The argument for family abolition has become even clearer under COVID 19 where the myth of the nuclear unit has been seen to be a fiction. We were told to keep a ‘social distance’ (from everyone… except family). Consequently, those without family were left alone, isolated and abandoned. There is no justice in these rules, which keep loved ones from being with one another, treat children like property, and shore up wealth (or poverty) within a class. What is the alternative?

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Weight 0.122000 kg