“Where Do We Fit?”
This chapter introduces Part II of this book. It begins by noting how David Letterman used humor to shirk fatherhood's responsibilities before his child was even born. His comments bespeak a larger ideal concept of being a dad, an ideal that he may fear he cannot measure up to because of his age. Letterman reveals both what the American family is supposed to look like, as well as his own personal failure to live up to those expectations. The chapters that make up Part II underscore the power of cultural norms to define how families should be. Often norms are revealed only when they are broken. Single-mother families not only reveal deeply held beliefs both about family membership and family content but also offer to people the opportunity to rethink the confusion surrounding genetic and social kinship in America, since there is no longer a tight fit between the two.
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