Download e-book for iPad: Conceiving Normalcy: Rhetoric, Law, and the Double Binds of by Elizabeth C. Britt

By Elizabeth C. Britt

ISBN-10: 0817310983

ISBN-13: 9780817310981

This ground-breaking rhetorical research examines a 1987 Massachusetts legislation affecting infertility remedy and the cultural context that makes this kind of legislations possible.

Elizabeth C. Britt makes use of a Massachusetts statute requiring insurance for infertility as a lens wherein the paintings of rhetoric in complicated cultural methods may be greater understood. Countering the commonsensical suggestion that crucial insurance capabilities essentially to alleviate the matter of infertility, Britt argues as an alternative that the insurance serves to show its contours.

Britt unearths that the mandate, working as a know-how of normalization, is helping to spot the irregular (the infertile) and to create tactics in which the irregular may be subjected to reform. In its position in normalizing approaches, the mandate is extra winning whilst it sustains, instead of resolves, the excellence among the conventional and the irregular. This contrast is accomplished partly via the rhetorical mechanism of the double bind. For the middle-class white girls who're basically served through the mandate, those double binds are created either via the will for fulfillment, regulate, and order and through adherence to scientific versions that regularly frustrate those similar wishes. The ensuing double binds support to create and maintain the stress among fertility and infertility, order and discontinuity, regulate and chaos, luck and failure, tensions which are crucial for the method of normalization to continue.

Britt makes use of huge interviews with girls present process fertility remedies to supply the root for her distinctive research. whereas her learn makes a speciality of the instance of infertility, it's also extra largely a observation at the strength of definition to border event, at the burdens and obligations of belonging to social collectives, and at the skill of rhetorical feedback to interrogate cultural formations.


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Extra info for Conceiving Normalcy: Rhetoric, Law, and the Double Binds of Infertility

Sample text

The decline in the sixties and seventies has been attributed to several cultural factors, including the youth revolution of the day, which questioned the institution of the family, the meaning of sex, and the global impact of overpopulation; and the growing women's movement, which questioned traditional gender roles. And while voluntary childlessness after 1960 did not reach prewar levels, the "childfree" movement became increasingly visible during the 1970s. May argues that this movementfueled in part by an economic downturn as well as by the progressive political philosophies of feminism, environmentalism, and gay and lesbian rights-was not so much a rejection of the culture of domesticity as a reconfiguration of it.

At that point, she says, their sex life returned to some semblance of normalcy, only to deteriorate once more as the lUI failures took their toll. Within a few months, the couple had undergone three lUI cycles, none of which had worked. Susan's case illustrates how the norm is operationalized in current infertility practice. As recently as the 1970s, doctors spent more time attempting to find and fix the particular anomaly that was causing the infertility. A woman might undergo repeated surgeries to open blocked fallopian tubes (an abnormal condition), for example, so that she could then become pregnant normally.

Women also undergo a medical history, physical examination of the reproductive organs, and diagnostic tests. About 2} percent of infertility in women is thought to be caused by problems with ovulation, H percent by problems with the fallopian tubes, H percent by abnormalities in the abdomen (such as endometriosis), } percent by growths in the uterus, and a fraction by problems with cervical mucus (Carson, Casson, and Schuman }-7). Women who have had sexually transmitted diseases may develop pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), which can block the fallopian tubes; those who were exposed to DES in utero may develop abnormally shaped reproductive organs (as well as cancer).

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Conceiving Normalcy: Rhetoric, Law, and the Double Binds of Infertility by Elizabeth C. Britt

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