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Conditions of Illusion: Agency, Feminism, and Cultural Representations of Infertility in Britain, c. 1960-80

Loughran, TL (2017) 'Conditions of Illusion: Agency, Feminism, and Cultural Representations of Infertility in Britain, c. 1960-80.' In: Loughran, T and Davis, G, (eds.) The Palgrave Handbook of Infertility in History: Approaches, Contexts and Perspectives. Palgrave Macmillan, 431 - 459. ISBN 978-1-137-52080-7

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Abstract

In the 1970s, reproductive control was perceived as essential to women’s liberation. In practice, however, feminist assertions of ‘the right to choose’ usually focused on the right not to have children. In the 1980s, a prominent strand within radical feminism critiqued new reproductive technologies as part of a technopatriarchal conspiracy, and portrayed infertile women as its passive victims. As a result of these critiques, the Women’s Liberation Movement (WLM) is often depicted as unsympathetic or even hostile to infertile women. This chapter compares representations of infertility in mass-market women’s magazines and feminist publications. It explores the extent to which these publications enabled individual women to articulate their experiences of infertility, the contexts of these articulations, and how these representations of infertility related to wider perceptions of motherhood, biological determinism, and women’s capacity for agency.

Item Type: Book Section
Uncontrolled Keywords: feminism, reproductive technology, motherhood, agency, experience
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Women
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities > History, Department of
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 03 Jan 2018 10:56
Last Modified: 03 Jan 2018 11:15
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/20955

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