Reproducing Women: Family and Health Work across Three Generations

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    Diana L. Gustafson, Marilyn Porter

    Publisher: Fernwood

    Year: 2012

    Format: Paperback

    Size: 192 pages

    ISBN: 9781552665190

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How do women experience reproductive health? How is knowledge about health issues transmitted from one generation to the next? Utilizing sociological and feminist lenses, Reproducing Women argues that women experience reproductive health as a part of their entire life story, rather than as discrete medical “problems.” Drawing together stories and interviews with three generations of women across twenty-four families, this book examines women’s experience of their “reproductive lives” in order to uncover how women’s experience is rooted in the family and among generational relationships: between mother, daughter, grandmother and granddaughter. By placing women’s biological and embodied experiences, including issues such as menarche, contraception, sexual intercourse, childbirth and menopause, in a social and cultural context, women’s broader roles in ‘social reproduction’ are revealed.

About the Authors

DIANA L. GUSTAFSON is an associate professor of social science and health in the Faculty of Medicine and affiliate faculty in the Department of Gender Studies at Memorial University.

MARILYN PORTER is professor emerita in the Department of Sociology, Memorial University.

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Table of Contents

Women’s Reproductive Lives
Relationships: Mothers, Daughters and Granddaughters in Two Families
Becoming a Woman: Learning about Menarche and Sex
Becoming a Mother: Conception, Pregnancy and Birthing
Being a Mother: Motherwork, Identity Work and Reproducing the Family
The Moment of Menopause: Change and Transition in Women’s Reproductive Lives
Grandmothering and the Long Moment of Aging
Experience and the Reproductive Lives of Women

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