Contemplating Maternity in an Era of Choice

Contemplating Maternity in an Era of Choice : Explorations into Discourses of Reproduction

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Contemplating Maternity explore how discourses of choice shape and are shaped by women's identities and experiences as (non)mothers and how those same discourses affect and reflect private practices and public policies related to reproduction and motherhood. This volume is unique because it investigates discourses of choice across the arc of maternity and as enacted through various (non)maternal subject positions.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 356 pages
  • 154.94 x 231.14 x 30.48mm | 725.74g
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • 0739138901
  • 9780739138908
  • 1,839,939

Review quote

Hayden and O'Brien Hallstein offer an engaging and rigorously-researched collection of essays exploring the complexities of contemporary maternity in the era of choice. The book overviews the history of reproductive rights, the larger discourses that enable and constrain parenting decisions, and stories of how parenting 'choices' not only impact mothers and fathers, but also family members, coworkers, purposively child-free individuals, and society at large. This edited edition brings together familiar dilemmas of work-life balance, infertility and the politics of choice, while accessing voices that are more often silenced in such discussions. In doing so, Contemplating Maternity in an Era of Choice provides a compendium of insight that is valuable for those interested in work-life, feminism, reproduction, family communication, popular culture and social movements. -- Sarah J. Tracy, Ph.D., Director of The Project for Wellness and Work-Life, The Hugh Downs School of Human Communication, Arizona State University Contemplating Maternity in an Era of Choice offers a rich and wide-ranging discussion, both topically and methodologically, of 'choice' within discourses of reproductivity. The contributors range across historical, legal, workplace, personal, and familial contexts, problematizing the conditions and character of discourses of choice regarding birth control, pregnancy, abortion, and child-rearing. Hayden and O'Brien Hallstein have assembled an expansive collection of essays that effectively confront the reader with the dense complexity of the construct 'choice' and how it impacts one's reproductive life. This book should inspire more discussion, more research, and more contemplation of a powerful but elusive concept. -- Nathan Stormer, The University of Maine Hayden and O'Brien Hallstein have done a superb job of drawing together a diverse set of essays that analyze the discursive and material constraints embodied in the concept of choice as it applies to women's identities as mothers. At a time when there is a very real possibility that a woman's right to an abortion may be denied in the US, this volume stands as a reminder of the importance of choice, while also revealing the complex, paradoxical nature of choice as a discursive strategy, which simultaneously enlarges and constrains women's lived choices with respect to bearing and raising children. -- Marlene G. Fine, Simmons College
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About Sara Hayden

Sara Hayden is professor of communication studies at the University of Montana. D. Lynn O'Brien Hallstein is assistant professor of rhetoric at Boston University.
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Table of contents

Part 1 Introduction Part 2 Section One: Mediated Images of Choice Chapter 3 Chapter One: Public Choices, Private Control: How Mediated Mom Labels Work Rhetorically to Dismantle the Politics of Choice and White Second Wave Feminist Successes Chapter 4 Chapter Two: No Exception Post-Prevention: "Differential Biopolitics" on the Morning After Chapter 5 Chapter Three: Politicizing Personal Choices? The Storying of Age-Related Infertility in Public Discourses Part 6 Section Two: Choice in the Public Sphere Chapter 7 Chapter Four: Reproductive Freedom Transforming Discourses of Choice Chapter 8 Chapter Five: The Commodification of Motherhood: Surrogacy as a Matter of Choice Chapter 9 Chapter Six: Law, Politics, and Reproductive Choices Part 10 Section Three: Pregnancy and Choice Chapter 11 Chapter Seven: My Eyes Cry Without Me: Illusions of Choice in the Transition to Motherhood Chapter 12 Chapter Eight: Two Women, Two Stories: Complicating Our "Right to Choose" Chapter 13 Chapter Nine: The In/Fertile, Un/Natural Body: Ecofeminism, Dis/Embodiment, Technology, and (the Loss of) Choice Part 14 Section Four: Working with Choice Chapter 15 Chapter Ten: The Invisible Politics of 'Choice' in the Workplace: Naming the Informal Parenting Support System Chapter 16 Chapter Eleven: Cutting the Meeting Short: Conflicting Narrative Choices in One Woman's Maternity Leave Chapter 17 Chapter Twelve: Total Motherhood and Having it All: Reproduction, Maternity, and Discourses of Choice among Female Police Officers Part 18 Section Five: Ongoing Choices Chapter 19 Chapter Thirteen: Purposefully Childless Good Women Chapter 20 Chapter Fourteen: What Men Say About Women: Fathers Contemplate Work Family Choices and Motherhood Chapter 21 Chapter Fifteen: Outlaw Mothers Raising Gentle-men: Choosing to Disrupt Hegemonic Tensions between Masculinity and Feminism
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